Author Archive for Derelict Space Sheep

Above the Law

Above the Law: The Unofficial Guide to Star Cops by Paul Watts (Ten Acre Films, 2021) An obvious labour of love, workmanlike in its prose but comprehensive in detailing the production history of both the original TV show and the audio relaunch, and in examining the strengths and weaknesses that made Star Cops unique. A boon for fans.    

Doctor Who: Once, Upon Time

Doctor Who—Flux, Chapter 3: Once, Upon Time by Chris Chibnall (2021) Not entirely satisfying as a self-contained episode, yet engaging enough and sufficiently comprehensible as to reveal some of the bigger picture (within which lies the Doctor’s Timeless Child origin story). The fractured mosaic / relived memories narrative allows for some out-of-character acting.    

All Systems Red

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Tor, 2017); audiobook read by Kevin R. Free (Recorded Books, 2017) An engaging piece of SF characterisation, enhanced by Free’s audiobook narration but let down by an unremarkable ending. Denouement notwithstanding, Wells constructs an intricate yet credible scenario and Murderbot, though adding little to the ‘what is human?’ canon, proves a worthy ambassador.  …

Bridge of Souls

Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab (Scholastic, 2021); audiobook read by Reba Buhr (Scholastic Audio, 2021) A neat conclusion to the Cassidy Blake trilogy. Much of the book’s narrative charm—and a great chunk of each protagonist’s personality—comes from Reba Buhr’s audiobook reading. Through her delivery, Cassidy, Jacob, Lara, and even Cassidy’s ghost-hunting parents become truly memorable.    

Missy: The Broken Clock

Missy: The Broken Clock by Nev Fountain (Big Finish, 2019) Nev Fountain certainly isn’t afraid to try something different. Here we’re given a faux- cheesy American reconstruction of an impossible historical murder spree laced with metatextual fourth-wall breakings (themselves explained in-story). Though it’s clever and fun, fake fakeness still sounds risibly fake.    

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; ill. Jules Feiffer (Epstein & Carroll, 1961) A fantastical middle-grade adventure full of warped notions and pun-based distortions of reality. Juster’s young protagonist is disinterested in the rigours of real-world learning but comes, through outlandish experience, to appreciate words and numbers. Feiffer’s illustrations prevent the dreamscape from becoming overwhelming.    

Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake (Algonquin Young Readers, 2020); audiobook read by Michael Boatman (Workman, 2020) A 21st Century Wind in the Willows, though preferring character and incident to the wistful idyll of its setting. While Badger and Skunk’s friendship comes with a moral, the story is nothing but whimsy and fun, dipping about like an untethered kite.  …