purplecat: (books)
[livejournal.com profile] sophievdennis gave me A Slip of the Keyboard, a collection of Pratchett's non-fiction writing, as a birthday present. I was, inevitably, about half way through it when news of his death was announced. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly written either as speeches or for newspaper columns. As a result many are quite slight and, in volume, they can become repetitive as he revives a turn of phrase, or makes the same point a second (third, or fourth) time for a different audience. Still, there is a lot here of interest. They are grouped together more or less thematically, starting out with pieces about writing and meandering through his experiences on book-signing tours, his championship of fantasy writing and some more biographical pieces until the final section documents his diagnosis of Alzheimer's and his championship of the right to an assisted death. I think I most enjoyed his advice to book stores on how to host a signing, though his convention speeches were entertaining as well. Sadly I think the last section is the weakest, possibly because he was no longer at the top of his game, but equally possibly because, for a change, he was seeking to be serious about something serious and that was somewhat out of his metier. The arguments lack breadth, particularly in regard to the state of the NHS and its causes, and a betray a somewhat rose-tinted confidence in the wisdom, stubbornness and clear-sightedness of the elderly.

When all is said and done though, he was very clear that he wished to die in his garden, listening to Thomas Tallis. I gather he died at home, with the cat on his feet. I hope that Tallis was playing.
purplecat: (books)
Some of you may recall Chicks Dig Time Lords which I found a lot less compelling than everyone else, it seems, since it went on to win a Hugo. It's not terribly surprising that there have been several follow-ups including Queers Dig Time Lords.

My main criticism of Chicks Dig Time Lords was that it didn't feel to me to be much about being a woman who likes Doctor Who so much as being about being a woman who goes to the Chicago Tardis convention. With one or two exceptions I found the contributions to be, ultimately, a bit repetitive.

Thankfully Queers Dig Time Lords doesn't suffer from this nearly so much. It has contributions from a much wider spread of fans, both geographically and in terms of when and how they became engaged by the series. There is also a much wider set of takes on the subject matter. Chicks Dig Time Lords was mostly in the form of memoirs - "this is how I got into Doctor Who and this is the fannish thing I do now". While Queers Dig Time Lords has several of these, it also has several essays which focus much more upon the show itself, whether it be simply celebrating some aspect of it that the writer felt particular did (or did not) resonate with their own queerness, essays that seek to understand what it is that particular attracts QUILTBAG people to the show, and a couple that challenge the assumptions that there are a lot of gay men in Doctor Who, or indeed that the show (in either of its incarnations) has been particularly queer-friendly.

There are a lot of essays in the book and so, inevitably a certain amount of repetition and some misses, but it is well worth a look. I wish Chicks Dig Time Lords had been as diverse and interesting as this.
purplecat: (books)
I'm guessing Who Goes There by Nick Griffiths was supplied by a relative. I don't think it is the kind of book I would purchase myself any more. I spent a lot of the book trying to puzzle out what exactly it was trying to do. Ostensibly its the tale of Griffiths' visits to various Doctor Who locations.

Possibilities considered )

I was actually surprised how alienating I found this book. Obviously Who fandom isn't a monolith by any stretch of the imagination, but I this was the first time I've read something by a Doctor Who fan with whom, it would seem, I have virtually nothing in common.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/15481.html.
purplecat: (books)
I'm guessing Who Goes There by Nick Griffiths was supplied by a relative. I don't think it is the kind of book I would purchase myself any more. I spent a lot of the book trying to puzzle out what exactly it was trying to do. Ostensibly its the tale of Griffiths' visits to various Doctor Who locations.

Possibilities considered )

I was actually surprised how alienating I found this book. Obviously Who fandom isn't a monolith by any stretch of the imagination, but I this was the first time I've read something by a Doctor Who fan with whom, it would seem, I have virtually nothing in common.

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