December 29th, 2005


"Tell me … tell me that free will is not an illusion." [p.276]

64. Richards, Justin. Option Lock [EDA#8]

The first time through this was the best book in the series so far for me after Vampire Science. This time through it runs a close third with Alien Bodies running a predictable close-first above the others. Where Alien Bodies spins mystery and misdirection across the whole meta-arc, Option Lock does the same thing on the scale of a single book; and succeeds (in my mind at least) in leaving the reader at least partly in the dark at all points even though, as Loyd Grossman would say, the clues are there…. And it ends with that amazingly apposite and ironic request quoted above.

Believable characterisation threads through this book, and it's far from short of its poignant moments. I remember wishing for some months that something like this would be written again, but we don't see the like before Fitz is introduced.

"Time is our business…" [p.274]

65. Collier, Michael. Longest Day [EDA#9]

I'm not really sure what I can say about this one at all. For a start it's the beginning of a kind of mini-arc, ending at Seeing I, in which the Doctor and Sam get seperated (quite early on in this book), and in which some of the same players play a part throughout. But despite that it's more like a little bit of shared-universe-space than a mini-series.

Anyway, it's a fairly standard kind of story; some humans have been messing around with time-travel devices that they don't understand when a whole set of aliens turn up to reclaim them. The Doctor of course rants and rails about how they shouldn't mess with things they don't understand, but….

There's nothing I can point at and say "I don't like this" about this book, but it's got nothing going for it either.
evil senji

"She could go anywhere, do anything." [p.227]

66. Peel, John. Legacy of the Daleks [EDA#10]

No sooner have we entered our mini-arc than we practically take a break from it. This story doesn't have Sam in it at all; being instead a return for the Doctor to post-Dalek Earth and Susan. Featuring both hidden Daleks and human internecine war inflamed by the Master there is a little something for everyone. In the end it provides some closure for both Susan and the Master, who gets lined up for where we find him in The Eight Doctors.

This is a well written, solid member of the series; but rather irritating because you want to know what happens to Sam.

"– he's an alien you can't trust aliens no one can trust –" [p.243]

67. Leonard, Paul. Dreamstone Moon [EDA#11]

At least in this one we get to see Sam as well as the Doctor. In fact much of this book is Sam; in her guise as ingenue bio-protester/eco-terrorist. A lot of this book is taken up with learning experiences for Sam, both in the field of who she can trust, and what "eco" means in a galaxy with non-human sentients. Unfortunately for her, while she interacts with the him, she doesn't get reunited with the Doctor.

I enjoyed this book, although it gets a bit confusing in places.

"I know who I am, right. And I know what I want to do." [p.279]

68. Blum, Jonathan & Orman, Kate. Seeing I [EDA#12]

This book finishes the mini-arc started in Longest Day, with the Doctor and Sam reuniting near the end. To some extent the entire book is a framework device for the pile of execrable puns on pages 226/227, but fortunately the rest of it is actually quite good even if you do spend lots of it thinking "was this plot carefully put together to really frustrate the characters in it, or is that just my imagination".

There's a certain amount more moaning about humans messing around with things they don't understand (which causes all sorts of problems, of course) and a lot more activism from Sam, but at the heart of it all the Doctor finds Sam, and Sam finds her justification; so all is well.

Blum and Orman write a good book, but watch out for the inevitable eye-squick (fortunately not on the scale of British Summertime).

Fandoms meme

From </a></b></a>morganmuffle.

Name a fandom you know I know and I'll tell you:

1. The first character I first fell in love with
2. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now
3. The character everyone else loves that I don't
4. The character I love that everyone else hates
5. The character I used to love but don't any longer
6. The character I would shag anytime
7. The character I'd want to be like
8. The character I'd slap
9. A pairing that I love
10. A pairing that I despise

(I'm not sure I'd use the word "love" like that if I was creating these questions, but oh well. And expect fairly irreverent answers for number 6...)