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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old August 31 2013, 08:07 PM   #1
Saga
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Best Book?

i've started reading Earthworld, my first Doctor Who book. could you guys suggest some good Doctor Who books. i was thinking of getting The Wheel of Ice or Silent Stars Go By next.
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Old August 31 2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: Best Book?

The Witch Hunters
The Time Travellers
Venusian Lullaby
The Scales of Injustice
Heart of Tardis
The Romance of Crime
The English Way of Death
The Well-Mannered War
Cold Fusion
Timewyrm: Revelation
Nightshade
Love and War
Birthright
The Left-Handed Hummngbird
Warlock
Human Nature
Toy Soldiers
The Also People
Just War
The Room with No Doors
Lungbarrow
The Dying Days
Alien Bodies
The Scarlet Empress
Unnatural History
Interference
The Blue Angel
The Burning
The Turing Test
Father Time
The Adventuress of Henrietta Street
Mad Dogs and English Men
The Gallifrey Chronicles
Only Human
Sick Building
Beautiful Chaos
The Eyeless
Prisoner of the Daleks
Borrowed Time
Dead of Winter
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Old August 31 2013, 09:18 PM   #3
diankra
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Re: Best Book?

Of those easily available in the shops right now, Wheel of Ice is a nice pulling together of lots of spaceflight related stuff froma string of stories to produce a rather Stephen Baxter-ish story (there's even a vague crossover to his Manifold series). 10 Little Aliens I remember being fun, and Remembrance of the Daleks is one of the best novelisations of the original series (though like a lot of ground breaking stuff it seems a little tame compared with some later material).
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Old August 31 2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: Best Book?

Dark Horizons by Jenny Colgan is a fantastic pseudohistorical -- the eleventh Doctor and Vikings in northern Scotland. The ending made me cry. As Gandalf would say, "I will not say: do not weep, for not all tears are evil."
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Old September 2 2013, 07:22 PM   #5
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Re: Best Book?

Dead Romance by Lawrence Miles. If it counts .

Get in to the VNAs. There are a few unambitious writers that essentially just write novelisations of unaired serials, but people like Paul Cornell, Kate Orman, Marc Platt, Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Mortimore did superb work and stretched the format. Even RTD and Mark Gatiss wrote great VNAs.
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Old September 3 2013, 02:10 AM   #6
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Re: Best Book?

Praetor_Shinzon wrote: View Post
i've started reading Earthworld, my first Doctor Who book. could you guys suggest some good Doctor Who books. i was thinking of getting The Wheel of Ice or Silent Stars Go By next.
The Silent Stars Go By is awesome. I'd also recommend The Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds, a recently released Third Doctor novel.
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Old September 4 2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: Best Book?

I just finished "The Silent Stars Go By" and was less than enthused. Some bits are really good, particularly the Doctor/Amy/Rory banter at the beginning. But the ending feels kind of rushed and there's a lot of just running around being chased by things.

"The Wheel of Ice" is excellent. But then, I'm biased because I'm a huge 2nd Doctor/Jamie/Zoe fan. In particular, I think the book finds some interesting new facets to Jamie & Zoe's characters. Jamie suddenly finds himself in a position of responsibility when he becomes the unwilling de-facto babysitter for a bunch of rebellious teenagers. Meanwhile, the normally cold & logical Zoe finds her softer, more emotional side when she's stranded alone with a small child and needs to comfort her. (There's a great callback to "The Mind Robber" here.)

"Dark Horizons" was pretty good. For another great story of the Doctor alone on primitive, pre-Renaissance Earth, check out the 10th Doctor saving a medieval village in "The Krillitane Storm."

"Prisoner of the Daleks" makes the Daleks dark & scary in a way that the new TV series hasn't really managed. (The simple act of enslaving humans for pointless manual labor does a better job of conveying the Daleks' cruelty than a million exterminations ever could.)

"Judgment of the Judoon" isn't a great story but it's got a quirky combination of characters. The Judoon commander gets a great deal of character development. And I can't believe how long it took me to realize that the Nikki Jupiter character is totally a Veronica Mars homage.

I enjoyed "Ten Little Aliens" more for the gimmicks, like the choose-your-own-adventure section, than for the story itself. But it does a pretty good job of getting into Polly's head and exploring some aspects of her background as a modern swingin' '60s girl. (Aspects that they couldn't really get into on a 1960s children's TV show.)

I highly recommend anything written by Terrance Dicks. "World Game" & "Players" are 2 very good companion pieces featuring the 2nd & 6th Doctors, respectively. Dicks simply knows how to craft a compelling, easy to read sentence. And he has an immediate grasp of all the characters. Perhaps it's not surprising that writing for the 2nd Doctor comes as second nature to him. But I was very pleased with how astutely he captured the sarcastic banter between the 6th Doctor & Peri.

It's been a while since I've read them but I was very fond of "Wolfsbane" with the 4th Doctor, Sarah Jane, & Harry and "Loving the Alien" with the 7th Doctor & Ace.

If you like your Doctor Who on the weirder side, you might try "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" and "The Coming of the Terraphiles."

Of the recent 11th Doctor/Amy/Rory releases I've read, I really loved "Borrowed Time" & "Dead of Winter." Both of them seem to actually take some time to try to give us a better sense of who Amy & Rory are and what's going on in their heads.

"Nuclear Time" is probably the most uneven of the books that I've read. The concept of the Doctor traveling backwards in time is an interesting one. And there's some interesting emotions going on with some of the guest stars. But the author clearly doesn't know the first thing about writing for Amy or Rory. (Also, strangely, the author sometimes describes certain things about the 11th Doctor's wardrobe that are just wrong. There are several references to the Doctor wearing boots. And even one bit where he's described as wearing jeans!)

"Festival of Death" is a 4th Doctor/2nd Romana story that feels perfectly at home amidst the TV stories of Season 17. It's got everything: Time paradoxes. Romana making snide remarks about the Doctor's TARDIS driving skills. K-9 running around saving the day all the time. And a suicidal computer that feels like it's straight out of the mind of Douglas Adams himself.
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Old September 9 2013, 12:19 AM   #8
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Re: Best Book?

I just finished "Dreams of Empire." I really liked all the pseudo-Roman trappings in the story. There's a strong murder mystery at the beginning and some great battle action towards the end. However, it often feels very light on character development. Jamie & Victoria don't get much to do. Even the Doctor's presence sometimes feels a bit light in the story, despite the fact that he's often at the center of the action.

Currently, I'm working on the new 3rd Doctor novel "Harvest of Time" by Alastair Reynolds. I'm not too far into it yet but Reynolds has just absolutely nailed all of the characters. The Doctor himself hasn't gotten much to do yet but Jo feels spot on. And the Master oozes charm just as he always did whenever Roger Delgado was on screen.
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Old September 9 2013, 02:17 AM   #9
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Re: Best Book?

thanks for all the suggestions.

i thought Earthworld was pretty good. took a while to get used to the author's style, but i liked it. i may pick up Dreams of Empire tomorrow since its part of the 50th line.
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Old September 9 2013, 03:08 AM   #10
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Re: Best Book?

Praetor_Shinzon wrote: View Post
i thought Earthworld was pretty good. took a while to get used to the author's style, but i liked it. i may pick up Dreams of Empire tomorrow since its part of the 50th line.
For the hell of it, my opinions on the 50th line.

Ten Little Aliens is really difficult to read, especially the chapter where it all goes Choose Your Own Adventure.

Dreams of Empire is pretty cool with political intrigue and an awesome battle.

Last of the Gaderene is awesome and great fun in the Pertwee era.

Festival of Death is okay. Think of it as a Moffat script written a decade early.

Fear of the Dark isn't so great though it does have some interesting guest characters.

Players is awesome. The Sixth Doctor on an adventure with Winston Churchill. Lots of historical stuff tied into this one.

Remembrance of the Daleks, meh. Might as well just watch the episode, the novelization doesn't really add that much.

Earthworld is okay, though I suspect it might mean more if I were familiar with the Eighth Doctor's novel continuity.

Only Human is good but not really memorable.

Same with Beautiful Chaos, although this does provide more insight into Donna's family and Wilf.

The Silent Stars Go By as mentioned above as awesome. Ice Warriors rule!
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Old September 11 2013, 02:43 AM   #11
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Re: Best Book?

The Murder Game
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Old September 17 2013, 12:20 AM   #12
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Re: Best Book?

^I just ordered "Verdigris." I'm waiting for it to arrive now.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Ten Little Aliens is really difficult to read, especially the chapter where it all goes Choose Your Own Adventure.
Really? That was my favorite part. In fact, I read that section several times just to make sure I got every version of events. (Admittedly, Polly & Frog are really the only 2 with anything interesting to say. There's a real poetry to their sections. The others are more just explanations of what happened.)

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Last of the Gaderene is awesome and great fun in the Pertwee era.
I'm currently working on it. It's not nearly as perfect as "Harvest of Time" but it seems like a solid entry so far.

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Fear of the Dark isn't so great though it does have some interesting guest characters.
I have 3 words to describe this one: "Really fucking dark!" Trevor Baxendale does a great job of throwing the Doctor into some really bleak situations where lots of good people die cruelly & pointlessly. Baxendale's "Prisoner of the Daleks" feels downright cheery next to this one.
It's not a perfect story. There are some sections that feel a bit repetitive and the bad guy seems way too overpowered to ever be defeated, until, at the end, he is in a rather anti-climactic fashion.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Players is awesome. The Sixth Doctor on an adventure with Winston Churchill. Lots of historical stuff tied into this one.
Yeah. I love me some historical Terrance Dicks. The Players in this story also show up in the 2nd Doctor novel "World Game" where they try to interfere with the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars. And I recently bought "Timewyrm: Exodus," which seems to involve an alternate history where the Nazis won WWII.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Earthworld is okay, though I suspect it might mean more if I were familiar with the Eighth Doctor's novel continuity.
I was kinda surprised that they picked "Earthworld" as the 8th Doctor book for the 50th anniversary series. Firstly, there's lots of references to stuff that happened in previous 8th Doctor books. Plus, the Doctor himself seems like a peripheral character at times. Fitz & Anji dominate most of the story. But it is a very funny book. There's a great nod to "The War Machines" in here. And I've been seriously thinking about Anji's suggestion that she get a t-shirt that says, "I'm a main character. Don't kill me."
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Old September 17 2013, 01:23 AM   #13
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Re: Best Book?

I think some of the choices for the 50Reprints were motivated by ease in dealing with the writers; the 1st, 2nd and 8th Doctor books are all by sometime editorial staff on the BBC Books range who've written for the new series books. So all easy to contact and understanding of the publishers' needs.
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Old September 17 2013, 01:33 AM   #14
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Re: Best Book?

Yeah. Actually, one of my favorite bits of the 50th reprints was in Jacqueline Rayner's intro for "Earthworld" where she says that her role at BBC Books "basically consisted of sending manuscripts to proofreaders and keeping track of Fitz's girlfriends."
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Old September 17 2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Best Book?

I really like the Time-travellers because it is one of the few books that considers the idea of the Doctor's own personal time-line.
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