In the Whoverse

With the newest Doctor Who in place, it seemed a good time to revisit a piece I did for SFNovelists.com about MY Doctors, including my favorite, David Tennant.

David Tennant

I think that part of the Tenth Doctor’s appeal to me lies in the simple fact that Tennant makes absolutely believable one simple fact – he is not “a tame lion”. This is an elemental being. He can do anything. And if he doesn’t, it’s because he practices severe and brutal self control. He is gentle, he is kind, he is funny, but he is also terrifying, and there is NO APPEAL against his judgement once he reaches a decision. I LOVE that in a Time Lord.
image mirrorco.uk

Who’s there?…

My first Doctor Who – and you never forget your first, your first ANYTHING – was Tom Baker. He of the scarf. When he regenerated, I kind of lost interest in the Whoverse until it petered out. Then Eccleston took it up – I never really glommed onto him, but then, he was only around for a season … and then *HE* came. My Doctor. My REAL TRUE Doctor.

When David Tennant said “I don’t want to go”, I was screaming right along with him, I didn’t want him to go either. Quite selfishly, I wanted him to keep going, to stay the Doctor, to be the only Doctor, the last Doctor, even.

When #11, Matt Smith, arrived on the heels of this regeneration, I was admittedly predisposed to dislike him. And although he had his moments, like the luminous Van Gogh episode for instance, my misgivings proved prescient. He gave away his status with both hands … (turning) the ‘Doctor Who And Companion’ show into the ‘Companion and Doctor Who’ show….

Read the article, and the comments

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The best novels of all time, in brief

From Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch, The Telegraph picks the “100 best novels’ — and describes them in a few words each.
Marcel ProustMarcel Proust, art by Wesley Merritt

e.g.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors.

One Thousand and One Nights, Anon
A Persian king’s new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption.

The other 97

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14 Stunning Book Illustrations Brought To Life

The Smithsonian Libraries have created cheeky GIFs from pages of the books they store, Maddie Crum writes at The Huffington Post.
Flying squirrelsWitnessing a flying squirrel from a 19th century document literally flying across the page, à la images printed in “The Daily Prophet”, certainly makes for an enriched reading experience.

The library says their aim is to “digitize and organize material that’s been practically dead to the world.” In doing so, they’ve breathed new life into images of early fireworks, sketches of Galileo’s astronomical observations and serene Japanese woodblock prints.

See the rest

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World’s Top 11 Coffee Cities Every Coffee Lover Should Visit

I’ve been to at least 5 of these. So there may be something in it, although they can’t spell “Addis Ababa”… But I REALLY don’t know about Iceland…

When you love coffee, you love coffee, Jane Scearce notes at Lifehack. You have distinct opinions on where the best coffee is in your local area. When you travel, you have to know the scoop on where to get some quality brew. But if the entire city had a high chance of providing a tasty cup of Joe…well, it could be your personal heaven.

Scearce lists 11 of the best cities for coffee across the globe – and two of them are in my backyard.
Istanbulsource: tannaz via Flickr

Istanbul, Turkey is known for its rich, dark coffee beans. They have a unique method for it as well. Turkish baristas grind beans into a fine meal, and boil them both with or without sugar in a cezve, a specially made pot for Turkish coffee. They don’t use sifters, so the cups of coffee are given a moment to let the grounds settle to the bottom before being served. If you have a taste for thick, flavorful coffee and a desire for a whole new experience, Istanbul is the way to go.

The other coffee cities

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Quote of the Day

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” ~  Italo Calvino    

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Alma Alexander
My books

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