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Doctor Who: Earthworld
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Book Discussions > May 2014 - EarthWorld by Jacqueline Rayner

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Chrissy (ladynovella) | 64 comments Mod
New month, new book!

Like I said last month, our first poll was tied. Doctor Who: Earthworld was the other winner, so for our sophomore venture in the Traveling the Vortex Book Club, this is what we'll be reading.

I will be closing the "Crooked World" discussion tomorrow (May 1), so if you have comments to leave there, get those in while you can. There will also be a new poll for June's book up tomorrow with titles from the old poll, plus a few new ones (the Book Suggestion discussion is always open, so feel free to put in any "Doctor Who" titles you think would be fun for the group to read and I will collect those for future polls).

As always, if you have questions or suggestions or need help finding the book we're reading, feel free to contact me, either through Goodreads or on Twitter @wildcat_media. Though, "EarthWorld" was one that was re-released last year for the 50th, so it should be fairly accessible.

Happy Reading!


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark (benignsource) | 14 comments How odd put this in the car just the other day.


message 3: by Thedoctor (new) - added it

Thedoctor Withrosetyler | 8 comments It's a rainy day, perfect for cuddling up with a good book.


message 4: by Ben (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ben Reed | 96 comments I started this one a few days early. My knowledge of the 8th Doctor is very limited. I've seen the movie, which I found atrocious, but that's it. I should say that McGann was a redeeming part of that film. Having said that I am anxious to explore this doctor and what he's all about. I like him already.


message 5: by Ben (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ben Reed | 96 comments So I'm about 1/3 of the way through. It's moving along well. I'm a bit confused as to the Doctor's amnesia bit. That's largely because my knowledge of him is limited. Beyond that I'm liking the story so far. The three bloodthirsty princesses have a maniacal feel to them thus far. Fitz is a bit of a putz (deliberately so I think), and Anji has the makings of a good companion should she work out her issues.


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Brittany Granger (brigranger) | 22 comments Mod
I am having trouble getting ahold on this one.... :(


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Brittany Granger (brigranger) | 22 comments Mod
Finally.... finally got my hands on this one..... gah it is a pain being on a budget.... and it doesn't help that the library only has one Doctor Who book ( and it is not this one) lol


message 8: by Ben (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ben Reed | 96 comments As I near the halfway point the story is really beginning to take hold. As the author said in the foreword there are some issues with the story but overall it's coming along nicely. The triplets and their androids are quite the "villains", and the blatantly wrong version of Earth's history is quite funny.


message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark (benignsource) | 14 comments I've had this one a while and kept coming back to it and not really getting anywhere with it.

Fitz comes across as a know it all ass - I'm not that far in and I just don't like him.

If this were a TV series, it would feel like beginning to watch mid-series and mid story arch. The amnesia, what happened to Anji's boyfriend? Maybe these are explained later in the book, but for now they're an annoyance.

Its a start contrast to Crooked World. In that the characters felt more developed. Fitz's annoying personality was balanced by it ending in comedy moments - his great love scene with Angel.

Maybe I need to give this more of a chance. But the writing style isn't grabbing for some reason.


message 10: by Josh (new) - rated it 3 stars

Josh | 22 comments I'm only around 50 pages in but I'm glad I took a peek at this discussion and saw Mark mention amnesia. I don't know if I missed it, or if it hasn't been made clear yet what's going on with the Doctor - but I've just been pulling my hair out in annoyance at his "I don't know how to use my own sonic screwdriver unless I'm distracted" routine, and how much the author is dragging out the point. If he does have amnesia, then I wish he had even more of it so he's stop explaining out loud what he's normally good at, and what he does or doesn't like. (I had a similar issue with Ghosts of India, so maybe this is a trope of Doctor Who novels. I hope not!)

It's odd because sometimes I'm finding it a quick and interesting read, and then sometimes it's like pulling teeth. And it has a least told me fairly soon where/when Anji and Fitz are from, which was something I was missing with the last book.

I'm still liking Fitz as a character. I agree with Mark that he comes across as a know it all ass, and I might find him annoying to meet in person, but it doesn't come across (to me) like he actually believes he knows it all. He's putting up a front and trying to look cool and impressive. The fact that he is with the Doctor, who actually IS as cool and impressive as Fitz wants to be, is probably making him push it even further. What I like is that we see the cracks in his facade, and watching how he reacts when it's crumbling. I find it very human.

As for Anji's boyfriend: I do think it's better when characters havn't magically got over major tragic events by the next 'episode'. But if the dead boyfriend is going to constantly be brought up every few pages, and be used as part of a sort of diary-keeping device, then I think we should at least be told how he died before the end fairly soon! It's starting to feel like the author of the previous book has paid this author to include this as advertising.


Chrissy (ladynovella) | 64 comments Mod
Josh wrote: "I'm only around 50 pages in but I'm glad I took a peek at this discussion and saw Mark mention amnesia. I don't know if I missed it, or if it hasn't been made clear yet what's going on with the Doc..."

Something I've noticed a lot with the Eighth Doctor Adventures specifically is how episodic they are. It really feels like you had to have been reading all of these in order. Which is why I thought it was strange that they chose to reprint this particular novel for the 50th last year, since it wasn't the first in the series. But I'm not making the decisions at BBC Books (because if I was in charge, I'd have gotten all the old stuff reprinted in some format ^_^).


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Thedoctor Withrosetyler | 8 comments The Big Finish 8th Doctor stories can be very episodic, as well.

For those of you who have not had much experience with Eight, Paul McGann is BRILLIANT in his Big Finish stories. So much so, that he is now my favorite Doctor, over Tennant and Tom Baker, even. Can't get enough of him and his fabulous voice.

I figured we were in for a rough ride when the author spent the introduction apologizing. (I have the 50th reprint version.)


message 13: by Brittany (new) - added it

Brittany Granger (brigranger) | 22 comments Mod
I am having a hard time getting into this one. I am trying but I can't promise that I will get it finish before we start the new one. I think the main problem is that I don't like reading on my iPhone....


Chrissy (ladynovella) | 64 comments Mod
I feel a bit like it's cheating, but I read this book for my "Librarian in the TARDIS" Doctor Who blog series for the 50th Anniversary last year, so I'm just going to put the link to the post on my thoughts about it --> http://cjsnotebook5.blogspot.com/2013...

(Sorry for being so lazy, but I was just going to end up repeating what I said in my blog post anyway ^_^)


message 15: by Mark (new)

Mark (benignsource) | 14 comments I don't know if it's the style of writing or something else, but I don't think I will get to finish this one either.

The last one I was sitting in the car at lunch reading. It had me hooked. This one I haven't done that once with.


Glenn | 61 comments Well, I haven't found time to post my review here yet, and because I have already reviewed it, I'm going to be lazy, too and post the link to my review of the story. http://trappedinthevortex.wordpress.c...


message 17: by Josh (new) - rated it 3 stars

Josh | 22 comments Well I've made it 70% through, and I'm officially putting this aside to finish later. It's so much of a drag for me, and I have other books that I'm under time pressure to read now. Though I will come back to it.

I think I've at least got far enough to come to a few conclusions. Firstly I think this story could, and should, have been about 1/4 the length. There was a lot of 'filler' and stretching out of people's meandering thoughts. Did we really need things like the Anji constantly thinking or the Doctor constantly talking as the characters move from one room to another? This isn't an episode of 24. And then sometimes, perhaps because the characters tangental ponderings had been exhausted, there would be very sudden cuts across time and space, which I found quite jarring. I wonder if what the book really lacked was a strong enough hand from the editor.. or other pressures meant they gave up on getting enough story to fill the length of the book, and just had to leave so much filler in. Of course, this isn't a unfamiliar situation for who fans.. plenty of the longer classic who stories had entire episodes worth of filler.

I did like the triplets a lot, and I especially that they had clearly individual personalities even though they worked as a unit. You could imagine that if they'd been seperated early on, they wouldn't all have been quite so psychotic. It's a refreshing change from the usual trope of twins/triplets etc having identical characters. It did stick to the trope of them having identical clothes in different colours, but in this case they're young enough that I'll blame the parents.

Most of the other characters seemed a bit flat, but were ok. Fitz and Anji feel a lot more fleshed out in my mind now, especially Anji. I was getting really irritated with the replicant-Fitz whineyness about not being real, so much so that I almost cheered when he got killed off and turned out not to be the real Fitz (or the real fake Fitz, whatever he is).

I also feel like the setting had so much potential and was so underused. I had a bad feeling from the moment it became clear that Earthworld was indeed Westworld, but with London instead of the wild west, because DW is British. It meant I ignored the whole robots-killing-visitors part and was waiting even longer for stuff to keep me interested. I did at least hope for some interesting situations as they try to survive the robots.. but no, so far they just run away. It also reminds me a bit of Nightmare in Silver - another theme park where there's allusions to how amazing it might be, but we mostly see only the common predictable parts. Even the author herself points out, through Anji's thoughts, how this is all the most basic stuff you get in an English child's school history book. Maybe this is yet to be explained in the book, but even if it is I'd rather that we'd got something more imaginative done with the Wes.. sorry, Earthworld setting.

I have just had a random thought though that would put this book in a happier place in my head canon. Avoiding spoilers, but there's one episode in The Chase that would actually make slightly more sense if you assume it's part of Earthworld. The one where things get a bit.. batty.


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