A spate of drafts covered this one over, so although less topical now than it would have been at the time, it is with great sadness that I write about the recent passing away of one of the icons of Doctor Who literature.
A prolific writer of a plethora of books, for many he was best known for his work on Doctor Who, for which he novelised sixty-seven of the TV scripts. Dicks did more than just write the books, he was script editor of the television show, as well as writing and producing. His stories and direction added some subtle slants to the series with social and political stories.
For all the memories of the show – and there are many – it is to the books that I fondly remember getting out of the library, repeatedly. Looking through the Target covers, I picked out Doctor Who and the Daleks, The Three Doctors, and The web of Fear. Two of which were written by Dicks, as well as Meglos which I picked up in a book sale for the bargain sum of 20p.
Now having amassed a complete (I think) set of the novels, it seems fitting to pick one to read soon. There is plenty to choose from so I will probably pick a random title and post something in due course.
In case you missed it live, (as we did) here’s Jess’ video. Ten minutes before kick off we lost electricity, and with the water being off as well, it was a torrid thanks to the ridiculously hot time. Crissy has the foresight to download a film off Netflix and have her phone charged which went some of the way to helping, before a nap until the electric coming on woke us up.
If you fancy hearing Jess in the flesh and seeing what her work is all about then click below, follow on Facebook, and all that other stuff.
After a very long day in Manila which involved: queueing, a lack of manners, coffee, and heat that felt closer to the mid 40’s than the 35 degree reality, I came home to a message from author J.D. Astra.
On the 11th April at 08:30pm MST, Jess will be reading chapter one of book two of her Firebrand series. You can tune into it here, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theastralscribe/ and then go buy the book right there and then, together with book one, reviews coming soon.
All this is a bit confusing as it will be live on the 12th in this part of the world but after struggling with the maths I still have time to do a post and let you all know before it happens. If you fancy a trip into the world of Viridian Gate Online, or just want to sample the writing of J.D. Astra then this is the way to go about it.
I feel guilty for having accumulated many books that I need to review for people, and so need to get a move on but after cravenly contriving to forget that for this evening, I’m off to seek some much-needed sleep.
An extinction-level asteroid is cannonballing toward Earth. In humanity’s final hours, a lucky few earn a one-way ticket to the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. Making that leap of faith might mean survival, but it comes with a steep price tag: “Travelers” will forever be stranded as digital avatars inside a fantastical world filled with vicious monsters, all-powerful AIs, and cutthroat players. Let the games begin …
This being my first introduction to this particular world, I had no idea what the bigger picture was going in (except for a beta read I did for Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand, review coming soon), but I got into the book extremely quickly and it offered enough tantalising glimmers to keep me intrigued, for this and further adventure in the universe.
Each story brings forth a mixture of pacy action, humour, and plenty of variety. My favourites included, VGO creator James A. Hunter’s heist story in A Gentlemen’s Work, blog favourite Jess Harpley (AKA J.D. Astra) offers her trademark action set pieces in The Raiding of Rowanheath, and Nicholas Reid’s Buried Alive is an ancient Egypt fan’s delight.
As you would expect there are plenty of gaming and fantasy references but with a fun feel. You don’t have to be particularly knowledgeable about either to enjoy the stories. The mentioning of real world, and historical references show the cross over and remind the reader of the original premise whilst not taking them out of the VGO digital world. Continue reading “Viridian Gate Online: Side Quests James A. Hunter, J.D. Astra, et al”
An extinction-level asteroid is cannonballing toward Earth. In humanity’s final hours, a lucky few earn a one-way ticket to the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. Making that leap of faith might mean survival, but it comes with a steep price tag: “Travelers” will forever be stranded as digital avatars inside a fantastical world filled with vicious monsters, all-powerful AIs, and cutthroat players. Let the games begin…
Recently I have been dipping my toes in something a bit different from my usual literary tastes. As someone with little enough time for gaming, it is perhaps best that I live that life vicariously through the means of a humble book.
Having got my hands on two of the nine books in the Viridian Gate Online series, so far, I am looking forward to immersing myself in this virtual world, whilst sagely nodding along to references that I may or may not quite get.
As the ever long, and still growing list of books continues to weigh heavy on my time, and my shelves, never let it be said that I don’t keep stretching my boundaries, in new and interesting directions.
Thanks to James. A. Hunter, and J. D. Harpley for securing me these copies, reviews will be coming just as soon.
In 2011, Jake Epping, an English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, sets out on an insane – and insanely possible – mission to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
Leaving behind a world of computers and mobile phones, he goes back in time to a time of big American cars and diners, of Lindy Hopping, the sound of Elvis and the taste of root beer,
In this haunting world Jake falls in love with Sadie, a beautiful high school librarian. And, as the ominous date of 11.22.63 approaches, he encounters a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald.
This sizeable novel from the wordy wordsmith himself, Mr King has so much of everything in it. The inexactness of that statement is accurate as the number of little details is vast, and as such I read this book with a huge amount of appreciation.
I avoided this book for a long time because, for me a time travel story and King just didn’t seem to gel together in my mind but once I started reading, I thought it worked really well. The element of ‘how would I exploit the past if I could time travel’ is explored = and takes the focus off of the main plot, which itself flows logically and languidly (a good thing) according to the rules set out.
When all else fails, give up and go to the library
Jake is often just as focussed on the smaller picture as much as his larger mission, and it is fascinating to get caught up in, as does he. There is the usual whole heap of nostalgia which the author always excels at, allowing the reader to feel like they miss that time and place, despite many not having lived through it. There is a brief cameo from some of the characters of IT, as well as a couple of Dark Tower references, which is pleasing to those knowledgeable but won’t make any difference to those not familiar with the particular works. Continue reading “11.22.63 – Stephen King”
When this popped up on my Facebook feed it was a pleasant surprise. Regularly reviewed author Jess Harpley (AKA J.D. Astra) is part of a forthcoming anthology from Shadow Alley Press. Of which more details available soon. Check out the publishers if it takes your fancy! At a later date will also see book two of the Earth’s Peril series, I reviewed book one, Sway’s Demise here if anybody needs a refresher.