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Marita



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 509


Location: Flanders, Belgium

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I have read two books of his short stories, ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ and ‘Coraline and other stories’. Coraline is really for children but is very good. Amongst the short stories are real gems. I have also read ‘Stardust’ which is much sadder than the film that was made of it.

There is also ‘Good Omens’, co-written with Terry Pratchett. It’s the funniest book about the end of the world I’ve ever read and a real favourite of mine.

Other people on the board have read some of his novels and were very positive about them. It’s a pleasure still awaiting me.

Marita


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mike js



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 353


Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Marita. I certainly feel I'd like to try reading something by Neil Gaiman.


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county_lady



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 633


Location: N Worcs.

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike I've read the same ones as Marita plus Neverwhere, American Gods and Anansi Boys.

Stardust is the best fairy tale I've read and Good Omens is my alltime favourite comfort read.

Check out his website.http://www.neilgaiman.com/


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county_lady



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 633


Location: N Worcs.

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS. I did expect Gaiman's Dr. Who episode to be good and so it was.


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Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could not agree more County Lady!! I loved last Saturday nights episode of Dr Who, I'm quite enjoying this series of Dr Who to be honest, I'm not sure where they are going with the Amy pregnant/not pregnant thing though.  My first thought when the Dr was "killed" in the first episode was that the person in the suit was River Song going right back to that time we saw her and she said she was in prison for killing a man, but then I thought maybe not considering the reaction we got from the other version of River who you would have thought would know it was herself (if you get what I mean).

I have to admit I did find the first couple of episodes a little bit confusing and hard to follow - but I do think Steven Moffat must have an incredible mind to come up with stuff he does which then links into other things which happened that he wrote way back and all the time there are little hints which at the time you miss but then it all comes together eventually and I have faith that all will be explained and revealed in the end.  The only episode which I have liked least up to now was the pirate one.


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mike js



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 353


Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your recommendations too, county lady! I shall certainly be looking into trying something by NG.

Glad you enjoyed the latest Doctor Who episode, Apple.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2104


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to be ever more at odds with everyone over Dr Who these days. I really think it's lost the plot. (Yes, sorry, this is going to be a bit of a rant!).

Whilst I found much to admire in Gaiman's "Doctor's Wife" story, taken as a piece of pure fantasy writing, I really don't like the extent to which DW stories have gone in that direction, leaving even the most tenuous connections with science behind. In the pre-RTD era, the TARDIS used to be a machine. If it had any intelligence at all, it was definitely machine intelligence - there was no "soul" of the TARDIS. Now, it's sparkly golden magic vapour that can possess human bodies, fly around in the air, then re-embed itself somehow in the TARDIS. To be fair this isn't Gaiman's fault - I recall something similar in the Rose Tyler era. I feel like shouting: "but a matrix isn't sparkly golden vapour, it's just a load of numbers arranged in a grid".

It seems to me this sort of thing isn't just unscientific, it's anti-scientific - a shame for a programme that began back in the 1960s with the ideal of being educational as well as entertaining. RTD- and Moffat-era Dr Who projects a view of the universe that requires 'spirit' (though this is often misnamed as 'energy') to act on matter to cause any change. This is the model that the Greek philosopher Epicurius rejected a couple of thousand years ago, and his view has been supported by an ever-growing body of evidence from science. From a scientific point of view, Cartesian Dualism (souls separate from matter) is really on its last legs and looking lamer with every new finding. Yet in Doctor Who, everything seems to have a "soul", everything is an "entity", every force in the universe is anthropomorphised.

One of the problems of this increasingly pure-fantasy movement - and perhaps also connected with the shorter format of the modern show - is that too often the plots are resolved by a deus-ex-machina, often of a pseudo-magical variety. There isn't really any development involved in the climax and resolution, so that the ending feels rushed and forced.

Well I'm going to shut up now, except to say that the Gaiman episode was better crafted than most DWs of late, and the performances were pretty good too. I just don't like the way DW is going in general.



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county_lady



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 633


Location: N Worcs.

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike I know exactly what you mean but as Gaiman is a fantasy writer and I believe science has almost dismissed the possibility of us ever being time-travellers. Sad

Oh well we are still waiting for new hard SF on TV like ?
I suppose that would be a whole new subject and necessarily subjective.


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Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike js Wrote:
Quote:
Neil Gaiman really seems to know and like the Doctor Who form, and I do hope he might write a future epsisode or two. I watched the 'making of' documentary on BBC Three, and his readings of the script were brilliantly atmospheric.

Has anyone read any of his books?
I think I recall Caro (but don't quote me) read Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman a while back now and rated it quite highly as I vaguely recall - or I could have just made that up!! I know someone on here read it anyway, and for some reason its Caro that I have in my mind.

I haven't personally read anything YET although I have Stardust and Anansi Boys on my TBR pile


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mike js



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 353


Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Apple.

Mike, a good point about the fantasy invasion of Doctor Who. I suppose I have not been seeing it as science fiction for some time; more a quirky entertainment. On the other hand, the lack of respect for reason in the newer Who may be a strong factor in my general feeling of disappointment, which I hadn't recognised!



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