Author Archive for Derelict Space Sheep

Heavy Weather

Heavy Weather by P. G. Wodehouse (Little, Brown and Company, 1933); audiobook read by Martin Jarvis (Canongate, 2008) Less a sequel, more a direct continuation of ‘Summer Lightning’. Wodehouse takes up the strands again and concocts a book-length encore of comedic misfortunes, double-crossings and plans hatched at cross purposes. Martin Jarvis narrates with dignity but over-eggs some of the voices.…

Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach (W. W. Norton, 2010); audiobook read by Sandra Burr (Brilliance, 2010) The approach is a bit scattershot (the discursive footnotes are particularly disruptive in the audiobook), yet Roach’s investigation of the bizarre non-romantic particulars of space flight research, testing and preparation remains very engaging… and likely…

X’ed Out

X’ed Out by Charles Burns (Pantheon, 2010) In this confronting homage, Burns shows us what Tintin’s adventures might be like if they took place in a grim alternative reality (think the Upside Down of ‘Stranger Things’). Burns lacks Hergé’s sense of movement and pacing but this remains darkly memorable.    

An Electric Storm

An Electric Storm: Daphne, Delia and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Ned Netherwood (Obverse Books, 2018, Second edition) This is one-third a history of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and two-thirds reviews of all its associated recordings. Netherwood is clearly an expert on electronic music but his enthusiasm for the Workshop’s legacy flounders in a concerted absence of (second edition!) proofreading.…

The Last Werewolf

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (Knopf, 2011); audiobook read by Robin Sachs (Random House, 2011) Jacob Marlowe is the last of his kind, world-weary and prone to introspection, accepting of death. With Duncan’s intelligent literary approach, the werewolf genre at last grows up and in this one fell swoop shows it can be truly, viscerally, exquisitely horrifying.    

Doctor Who: Time in Office

Doctor Who: Time in Office by Eddie Robson (Big Finish, 2017) Four mostly self-contained episodes revisiting the notion of the Fifth Doctor as President of Gallifrey. Robson plays around with tropes and there are some amusing moments, albeit that the overarching narrative wavers between comedy and drama and cops out in an anti-climax.    

The Comics of Hergé

The Comics of Hergé: When the Lines Are Not So Clear ed. Joe Sutliff Sanders (University Press of Mississippi, 2016) This collection of determinedly academic articles will be heavy-going even for scholars and Hergé fanatics, let alone the casual Tintin fan. Although some (obscurely) interesting points are raised, the book is severely diminished—as Sanders acknowledges—by a lack of supporting artwork.…

Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman; audiobook ready by the author (HarperCollins, 2013) A whimsical little story, very English, as notable for its subtleties in phrasing and delivery as for the wildly fantastic, freewheeling plot of alien abduction, time travelling stegosaurus and fatherly determination to return home with milk. Gaiman’s audiobook reading comes highly recommended.    

Tim Minchin live at The Star, Gold Coast

Tim Minchin live at The Star, Gold Coast 4 May 2019 Barefoot and brilliant, the inimitable Tim Minchin rocked the den of iniquity, enthralling with his energetic mix of anecdotes and skewed insights, rootin’-tootin’ ivory-tickling tongue-twistedness and intellectually rigorous leftie irreverence. Highlights included ‘Thank You, God’, ‘If I Didn’t Have You’, and ‘Prejudice’.