19 December 2005

Tripping Shortly

I've finally finished reading The History of Christmas, working my way through it a few stories at a time, and it's rather good.

You would, of course, expect me to say that given that I've been encouraging you to buy a copy for months, but I'd recommend you particularly to Simon Bucher-Jones's "The Thousand Years of Christmas" (one of the more overtly S.F. stories in the collection, and a very fine one) Kate Orman's "Nobody's Gift" (Aztec midwinter rituals and psychometry), Joff Brown's "Danse Macabre" (aliens gatecrash a Venetian ball in honour of Lord Nelson), Jonathan Clements' "Ode to Joy" (the Doctor chats to a Japanese fox-spirit) and Matthew Sweet's curtain-raiser "The Lampblack Wars" (distilled Victoriana). Eddie Robson's "Not in My Back Yard" draws on more Doctor Who knowledge (specifically of the New Adventures Virgin Publishing produced during the '90s) than many readers will be bringing to the volume, but is also splendid.

In a cunning Advent-inspired selling-tactic, the book has 24 seasonally-themed stories, and is longer than any previous Doctor Who short story collection from Big Finish. It also finishes with my "The Long Midwinter", a story about midwinter festival celebrations on a brown dwarf in a binary star-system. This is the last time I'm going to tell you to buy the book.

In only slightly related news, I'm reviewing Back in Time: a Thinking Fan's Guide to Doctor Who for surefish: it's a critical book on (mostly) the 2005 series from a christian perspective, although a rather different one from mine. I'm not going to say what I think of the book, mostly because I haven't finished it yet, but I'll let you know when the review appears.

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