1. Tim Powers has been one of my favourite fantasy authors since I discovered his 1983 novel The Anubis Gates
, which features time travel, romantic poets, and a serial killer who's rumoured to be a werewolf but is actually something even more peculiar. Last year, he returned to that setting with a novella called "Nobody's Home", which expands on the backstory of the novel's main female character. I got hold of it recently through a limited-time ebook offer on Humble Bundle
, which was a stroke of luck because it seems to otherwise only be available in a small press Collector's Edition that costs half as much again as the original novel despite being less than a quarter the length. I liked it a lot, but not so much that I would have been able to forgive the Collector's Edition price if I'd had to pay it.
2. Another thing I've revisited recently is the comic book series Atomic Robo
; the back issues have been re-released as a webcomic, so I'm reading the series through again from the beginning. If you don't know Atomic Robo, I highly recommend it; it's kind of like Indiana Jones with weird science instead of half-remembered mythology and also the hero is a self-aware robot created by Nikola Tesla. Robo's greatest enemy is the megalomaniac scientist Heinrich von Helsingard; his oldest
enemy is his father's great rival Thomas Edison; and his most annoying
enemy is Doctor Dinosaur, a talking velociraptor whose attempts to science are patently nonsensical and yet somehow seem to work anyway.
3. Speaking of web sites having significant updates that I didn't notice until they were pretty much over: after saying that Adventures with the Wife in Space
definitely wasn't going to do any of New Who, Neil and Sue have apparently been talked into doing the Eccleston year. They're absolutely not going to continue on and do Tennant, though. Probably.
4. And speaking of favourite fantasy authors, I can't remember whether I've recommended T. Kingfisher's fairy tale retellings
in this space, but if so they're certainly worth recommending again. There are currently two novels, The Seventh Bride
and Bryony and Roses
, and a short story collection, Toad Words
. There will probably be another collection at some point, since she's still writing new ones, and just recently won a Nebula for one of them.
(T. Kingfisher is Ursula Vernon, who won a Hugo for Digger
and then became a best-selling author of children's fantasy, which is why now when she writes something in a similar vein to Digger
she has to publish it under a different name so that nobody accidentally gives it to their ten-year-old.)
5. It seems to me that it says something about the priorities of the people making Thunderbirds Are Go
that when, thirteen episodes in, one of the episodes has an expert consultant credited at the end, it (a) comes as a complete surprise, and (b) turns out to be, not a physicist or an engineer, but a speech therapist. Thunderbirds Are Go
is not a series where scientific accuracy gets much of a look-in. (Good on them for wanting to make sure Brains's stammer is portrayed appropriately, though.)