A little treat for myself, ordered from England. And totally worth the six quid I spent. Taking the form of a policing manual written by the Gene Geni...moreA little treat for myself, ordered from England. And totally worth the six quid I spent. Taking the form of a policing manual written by the Gene Genie himself (with notes and doodles by DC Skelton), this is one of the best tie-in type books I've ever encountered. The real author (some guy named Guy) has got Gene's voice down pretty well—it's very surface Gene, but if he really were writing a book like this (perish the thought), it would be. And it's legitimately very funny—I'll admit, I LOL'd. (There are also a bunch of photos of Philip Glenister being a hotass—I AM PRO!) If you're a fan of the show (Life on Mars, for those of you who weren't paying attention/can't read my mind), you'll almost certainly like this.
And if you're not a fan...well, why AREN'T you? *wants everyone to share her latest obsession, dammit*(less)
Kind of adorably awesome RPF in which the Queen discovers reading, and thus discovers herself. This is a delightful little cupcake of a book. I guess...moreKind of adorably awesome RPF in which the Queen discovers reading, and thus discovers herself. This is a delightful little cupcake of a book. I guess I can see how some people could find it twee, but I think Bennett make the humor just sharp enough to keep things sweet but not saccharine. And I can’t help be enchanted by the idea that books and reading really might be this transformative.(less)
Whee! Possibly the best BtVS/AtS comic I have read: Lynch nails the characterization in this and also dishes up an engaging plot filled with interesti...moreWhee! Possibly the best BtVS/AtS comic I have read: Lynch nails the characterization in this and also dishes up an engaging plot filled with interesting OCs, a lovely Lorne appearance, and a bunch of hilarious in-jokes. If there were a Spike spinoff (if only) this would make a fantastic episode—it’s certainly much better than what I’ve read of the Angel: Season 6 comic. (Sorry, Joss.) I hope I can get my hands on Lynch’s other effort, which I believe involves Spike doing Vegas. *g*(less)
Sort of like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, steampunk-style. In this revision, Alice Liddell was really Princess Alyss of Wonderland, who was forc...moreSort of like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, steampunk-style. In this revision, Alice Liddell was really Princess Alyss of Wonderland, who was forced to flee to 19th Century England when her aunt Redd staged a bloody coup. I quite enjoyed the set-up before Alyss goes into exile, and the parts with her adjusting to her very different life in England and how it changes her. The glimpses of Wonderland technology and the background characters are fun—General Doppelganger who splits into Generals Doppel and Ganger when threatened or agitated; Hatter Madigan, Alyss’ deadly bodyguard, who keeps blades in all sorts of places. For the first two-thirds of the book, the pace was quick; the writing, while far from stellar, seemed vibrant and punchy; and the whole thing felt quite creative for a necessarily derivative work.
The last third, however, comprising Alyss’ return to Wonderland and her confrontation with Queen Redd, kind of fell apart. The pace slows, and there are quite a few not-terribly-exciting battles. Worse, Beddor abandons creativity and lifts a long sequence not from Lewis Carroll, but from George Lucas. Y’see, Alyss has to prepare herself to face Redd, so she enters a maze and is confronted with visions. She sees her aunt and is warned by the spirit of her dead mother not to attack with weapons—for they are practitioners of White Imagination, see, and anger leads to Dark Imagination!—but Alyss, enraged, beheads Redd, and then sees in the mirror—gasp!—Redd’s face instead of her own! Yeah, I bet Yoda was pissed.
Entertaining enough for my bus ride, but nothing very special. I’ll probably read the next book in the series if I stumble across it, but I won’t put too much effort into hunting it down.(less)
The Doctor Who novel that was recently adapted as 'Human Nature/Family of Blood.' It's available free online [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classi......moreThe Doctor Who novel that was recently adapted as 'Human Nature/Family of Blood.' It's available free online [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classi... convenient. I was unfamiliar with both the Doctor (Seven) and the Companion (Bernice Summerfield) the novel is about, and to be honest I'm really mostly invested in Ten (although now also in Martha. Martha is amazingly awesome. *beams*) so this was really mostly intriguing in terms of what had/had not been changed between book and screen. The only other thing that really struck me was that the Doctor stated unequivocally that he's not capable of "small" love—"big" love for humanity, yes, but not romantic love. That's certainly something to ponder (especially since I don't think it's true).
Anyway, I suspect this is only interesting if you are really into Doctor Who right now. Which I am.(less)
Shockingly, I hadn’t read this before. And actually, what really surprised me about it was how creepy it was. I read it right before bed and ohhh, tha...moreShockingly, I hadn’t read this before. And actually, what really surprised me about it was how creepy it was. I read it right before bed and ohhh, that was a mistake. Other than that, I’m afraid that I don’t have anything terribly interesting to say, at least not without sounding like a bad high school English essay. Shall I talk about fate? Wordplay? Metatextuality? Um. I don’t want to. I’m tired and my analyzers are broken. This tends to be the kind of time when unfortunately I utterly fail to be deep. But at least I liked this rather a lot more than Waiting For Godot.(less)
Well, it took more than a year, but King sucked me back in. I think I needed something to take the taste of John R. King's (no relation?) The Shadow...moreWell, it took more than a year, but King sucked me back in. I think I needed something to take the taste of John R. King's (no relation?) The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls out of my mouth; in comparison to that novel, this one is masterful. I enjoyed this much more than the previous book in the series, too, mostly because Watson is only in one scene, which leaves King very little opportunity to write him badly. Woo! The pacing is tighter, too, as this novel takes places over just a couple of months, rather than years. And I have to admit, I do enjoy the chemistry between Russell and Holmes. To give King her due, she understands exactly what's sexy about him: the wonderful combination of fierce intelligence and physical grace and deep, deep repression. Yum!
I have to say, these are so far by far the best-written Holmes pastiches I've read. I only wish there were some well-written ones that gave Watson the respect he deserves (and maybe even a good storyline!).(less)
Fun, if nothing special. It was an enjoyable enough way to spend an hour. Thinking about Spike and everything that happened to him still makes me all...moreFun, if nothing special. It was an enjoyable enough way to spend an hour. Thinking about Spike and everything that happened to him still makes me all wibbly. The end.(less)
Another collection of sci-fi Holmes pastiches; this one is much better than Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Space, despite opening, for some bizarre...moreAnother collection of sci-fi Holmes pastiches; this one is much better than Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Space, despite opening, for some bizarre reason, with what's by far the worst story in the whole book. (Profic writers really could learn a thing or two from fandom. Rule No. 1: Don't character bash. Rule No. 2: DON'T CHARACTER BASH.) I suspect this is because all these stories were written specifically for this anthology, while the other was a collection of previously published stuff. Thus, the focus of these tales is much more the actual Sherlock Holmes (and sometimes—but not nearly enough—Watson), and not characters merely similar to him. So, while none of the stories were what I'd call revelatory—I still haven't found my ideal Sherlock Holmes sci-fi pastiche (maybe I'll have to write it myself)—the collection as a whole was quite enjoyable. Though I wish someone would give Watson a bit more love. *pouts*(less)
The Seventh Doctor meets Sherlock Holmes. How can that not be full of win? And it pretty much is—unlike a lot of the Holmes pastiches I've read, Lane...moreThe Seventh Doctor meets Sherlock Holmes. How can that not be full of win? And it pretty much is—unlike a lot of the Holmes pastiches I've read, Lane isn't afraid to actually do things with Holmes canon; many pastiche writers seem VERY AFRAID that they're somehow going to damage Sir Arthur's toys, which 1) is ridiculous, and 2) leads to very boring stories. Lane, meanwhile, is more willing to take Holmes canon in hand—he allows for character development and doesn't simply maintain the status quo. He also, bless him, lets Watson shine; in fact, this novel ends up being much more about Watson than about Holmes, or even the Doctor. It's probably a better Holmes novel than it is a Doctor Who one, honestly. But I love both worlds so I enjoyed it.(less)
A “Tor Double Novel,” which is really two unrelated novellas packaged together for convenience. Enemy Mine, which was made into a movie starring Denni...moreA “Tor Double Novel,” which is really two unrelated novellas packaged together for convenience. Enemy Mine, which was made into a movie starring Dennis Quaid which I’ve seen five minutes of and in filmic form looks ridiculous, was actually pretty good: the humans and the Dracs are at war, but when a human and a Drac fighter pilot each crash-land on a deserted planet after a space battle, they must become reluctant allies, then friends (read: kind of gay for each other). I found the ending deeply and unnecessarily depressing, though.
In Another Orphan, a stockbroker finds himself thrust into the world of Moby-Dick. I enjoyed this less. It was rather reminiscent of Michael Moorcock’s Behold the Man, especially in its use of flashbacks; however, it doesn’t really build to anything much—the revelation at the end was, to me, decidedly unrevelatory. Also, I was very disappointed by the lack of Queequeg. Dude, if you are trying to position yourself as the story’s Ishmael, STEP ONE should be to make out make friends with Queequeg. Because, among other things, Queequeg is just awesome. MOAR QUEEQUEG PLZ.
The two stories don’t really complement each other in any way. Combined, they’re diverting, but I felt like I really wasn’t getting much bang for my buck with this whole “Double Novel” thing. I mean, two semi-lengthy short stories do not equal a single novel, let alone a double. A better bet would be to track down a collection that contains Enemy Mine and more than one other tale.(less)
Well, there’s another item I can cross off the Great Geek Checklist: Read a Star Trek Tie-In Novel. Check—and my chances of getting laid are once agai...moreWell, there’s another item I can cross off the Great Geek Checklist: Read a Star Trek Tie-In Novel. Check—and my chances of getting laid are once again reduced! ;-)
This wasn’t at all bad. It was pretty well-written; there was a nice subplot with Sulu (though McIntyre gives him a truly dreadful-sounding new hairstyle that I kept hoping would somehow figure into the plot—but it DIDN’T); and there was a SUPREMELY gay Kirk/Spock moment toward the end that made me giggle with glee. However, the time travel plot was a bit convoluted in my opinion, and it resolved itself rather too quickly—I’ve seen the same sort of story done better. Still, if more tie-in novels were this good, I might actually read them.
Or maybe not. In truth, I don’t think I really want to read derivative works unless there are sexy bits in ’em. I AM SHALLOW OKAY.(less)
Allow me to use an analogy here. Imagine that in 20 years or so people start publishing collections of Buffy the Vampire Slayer pastiches. (In this ve...moreAllow me to use an analogy here. Imagine that in 20 years or so people start publishing collections of Buffy the Vampire Slayer pastiches. (In this version of the future Joss Whedon is either incredibly generous or has very bad lawyers.) In each story, Buffy does some research with the Scoobies (all of whom are currently getting along great!), patrols a cemetery, and stakes a vampire...and that’s it. No character development, not even any character insight! In every. Single. Story.
That’s this collection, pretty much. If some of the tales had been particularly humorous or blessed with Arthur Conan Doyle’s gift with atmosphere, that might have redeemed things somewhat. Instead, we get not one, but TWO stories that offer a rational, Sherlockian explanation for the events of A Christmas Carol. I know it’s a holiday collection, but did it really have to be produced via cookie cutter?
I also have to say, this is one of the worst-edited books I’ve read in a long time—purely from a copyediting standpoint, I mean. Words are used incorrectly, there are bizarre misspellings, and the book is littered with sloppiness: strangers being referred to by name, then introduced three paragraphs later—that kind of stuff. And there are THREE editors credited. Yikes.
Needless to say, this did not fill me with holiday cheer.(less)
**spoiler alert** A mystery made up almost entirely of red herrings. Holmes and Russell continue to be charming, but I was frustrated by how much of t...more**spoiler alert** A mystery made up almost entirely of red herrings. Holmes and Russell continue to be charming, but I was frustrated by how much of the narrative turned out to be irrelevant. Even the letter of the title—supposedly a piece of correspondence between Mary Magdalene and her sister, which is, you know, generally the type of thing da Vinci writes codes about and plots are based around—is, as far as this story and even its characters are concerned, essentially meaningless. If Holmes can solve the entire mystery by spending a couple days putting up some wallpaper, then why do we have to spend ages hanging out with Russell while she pretends to be some rich dick’s secretary? None of the mucking about was even particularly illuminating in regards to her character or her relationship with Holmes.
I was, however, amused by Lord Peter Wimsey’s little cameo, especially since not long before he arrived, I’d been thinking that we’d entered the time period when he’d be back from the war and running about solving crimes, too. Handwaving the fact that in Sayers’ books, Sherlock Holmes is frequently referred to as fictional, making a crossover technically impossible for sticklers like myself, I will allow myself to titter and enjoy the occasional pleasures inherent in wacky published fanfic such as this.(less)