Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Reading Report

Since I've been off since Christmas Eve I've (not surprisingly) done quite a bit of reading. Read yet another of F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novels. In Infernal, Jack's estranged brother Tom shows up after the sudden and unexpected death of Jack's father. Tom, a crooked judge, has gotten himself into some serious legal problems and after spending some time with Jack he begins to realize that his little brother may actually be the key to escaping his situation. But being a Repairman jack novel things quickly take a turn into supernatural territory and soon one of the people who Jack loves the most becomes the victim of an ancient curse. This one has a slower pace than many other RJ novels but once things hit the fan it steamrolls to the conclusion.
The Writer's Tale started off as an idea for a possible magazine article by UK writer Benjamin Cook. The idea was to have Russell Davies, head writer and Executive Producer of the BBC's wildly successful Doctor Who relaunch since 2005, provide a blow by blow account of how he writes a Doctor who script, from the first glimmerings of an idea to the final draft.
The idea turned into a massive coffee table book, following Davies through the entire fourth season of Doctor Who. The thousands of emails between Cook and Davies provide an absolutely fascinating look into the production of a TV show, but of more interest to writers, you really do see Davies' often painful writing process. I guarantee that if you are a writer of fiction, you'll find much to identify with in Davies amazingly candid emails. I don't know if Davies realized it at the time but this is in many ways his autobiography, since he poured so much of his life and history into the writing. It is indeed a writer's tale, and of interest, I think to all writers, and not just fans of Doctor Who. Of course if you are a fan of the Doctor, you're also going to get a ton of nifty photos and behind the scenes stuff. A really cool book.
A new issue of Adventure House's High Adventure came out this week, featuring two short novels of Ki-Gor the Jungle Lord. Read one of them, The Golden Claws of Raa, yesterday and it may be the best of the Ki-Gor stories so far. Get's off to a fast start as Ki-Gor comes upon the mutilated corpse of a pygmy woman in the jungle. Marks on her neck show that she had been the prisoner of slavers. Ki-Gor goes after the slavers of course with the help of his Masai buddy Tembu George. Non stop action follows as Ki-Gor battles not only the slavers, but a sort of female Tarzan who rules a tribe of dangerous gorillas. Ki-Gor's wife Helene makes a good showing in this adventure, saving her husband's life with a well placed arrow and standing up to the bad guys be they beast or human. I'll save the other novella, Zomba Has a Thousand Spears, for a rainy day.

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