David Tennant quits as Doctor Who

A Halloween trick, not a treat.
David Tennant is to stand down as Doctor Who, after becoming one of the most popular Time Lords in the history of the BBC science fiction show.
Tennant stepped into the Tardis in 2005, and will leave the role after four special episodes are broadcast next year.
He made the announcement after winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the National Television Awards.
“When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me,” he said.

Elections and Fear

I’ve been listening to this NPR story about talking to voters about racial fears in the election.
The text is only an excerpt of the entire story (which you should listen to). Some of what these people are saying saddens me.
“I don’t want to sound racist, and I’m not racist,” Moreland says. “But I feel if we put Obama in the White House, there will be chaos. I feel a lot of black people are going to feel it’s payback time. And I made the statement, I said, ‘You know, at one time the black man had to step off the sidewalk when a white person came down the sidewalk.’ And I feel it’s going to be somewhat reversed. I really feel it’s going to get somewhat nasty.”
Moreland says she doesn’t think all black people will “want payback.” “I’m not talking about you (one of the reporters for the story is black), and I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the people that are out on the street looking for trouble.

Books Read this Year Oct 18,2008–This has been the year of ARCs

This has been the year of advance reader’s copies for me.
Between Amazon Vine, LibraryThing, other sources, and even a couple of books from a friend (Tony Pi) who asked me nicely to read a book with a story of his in it and a book of a friend of his, I have been reading ARCs this year.
Out of the 44 books I’ve read so far this year, nine have been ARCs (in bold)!
44 Adventures in Unhistory, Avram Davidson
43 Necropath, Eric Brown
42 After the Downfall, Harry Turtledove
41 Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton
40 The Golden Key, Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson and Kate Elliott
39 From Colony to Superpower, George Herring
38 Kushiel’s Justice, Jacqueline Carey
37 Nation, Terry Pratchett
36 Implied Spaces,Walter Jon Williams
35 Legacies, L.E. Modesitt
34 Whiskey and Water, Elizabeth Bear
33 Axis, Robert Charles Wilson
32 Selling Out, Justina Robson
31 The Shadows of God, Gregory Keyes
30 The Code Book, Simon Singh
29 The Last Dragon, J M Mcdermott
28 The Gist Hunter and Other Stories, Matthew Hughes
27 Majestrum, Matthew Hughes
26 Dzur, Steven Brust
25 Galactic Empires, Gardner Dozois (editor)
24 The Rosetta Key, William Dietrich
23 The Twisted Citadel, Sara Douglass
22 Little Brother, Cory Doctorow

21 The Martian General’s Daughter, Theodore Judson
20 The Gate of Gods, Martha Wells
19 A World too Near, Kay Kenyon
18 In the Courts of the Crimson Kings, S.M. Stirling
17 Reaper’s Gale, Steven Erikson
16 The Merchants War,Charles Stross
15 Silverlock, John Myers Myers
14 The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
13 The Dragon’s Nine Sons, Chris Roberson
12 A Shadow in Summer, Daniel Abraham
11 The Eternity Artifact, L.E. Modesitt
10 Wolf Who Rules, Wen Spencer
09 Hiding in the Mirror, Lawrence Krauss
08 The Stars my Destination, Alfred Bester
07 Opening Atlantis, Harry Turtledove
06 Death by Black Hole, Neil DeGrasse Tyson
05 Now in Theaters Everywhere, Kenneth Turan
04 Never Coming to a Theater Near You, Kenneth Turan
03 Plague Year, Jeff Carlson
02 Writers of the Future Volume XXIII, Algis Budrys (editor)

01 The Trojan War a new history, Barry Strauss
Oh, and did I mention that EOS books has just given me two L.M. Bujold Sharing novels to read and review? Those are next on my to-read pile.

Book Review 2008 #44: Adventures in Unhistory

Adventures in Unhistory is a collection of columns in Issac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine by the late Avram Davidson in the 1980’s. In these columns, Davidson takes on a mythological/fantastic subject that has fascinated people for centuries, and unwinds its history and origins in popular culture, and tries to find the grain of truth in the mountain of myth and legend.
Its a wonderful set of essays. The style of Davidson is conversational, jovial, joking, digressive but in the end illuminating and entertaining. As I read his analysis of mermaids, werewolves, dragons, Aleister Crowley and others, I could imagine myself in a deli in Manhattan, listening to Davidson over a bagel and coffee explain in a style that has to be read to be fully enjoyed. Here he is in an essay about Sindbad (Sinbad) with one of his side digressions…
In a way, there really was a Sindbad, sort of;his name was Mohammed Ibn Battuta;and he was a Berber, a native of Northwest Africa;if anything, as far as time and territory are involved, he out Sindbaded Sindbad. I believe that he spent something like 34 years in travelling, from Morocco to China, and back again. The only troube is that he didn’t draw the long bow near as much. Perhaps he had been influenced by Sindbad, perhaps he was a reincarnation. Even if you have never heard of him you have heard of anyway one of his stories, under the name of the Indian Rope Trick: evidently Ibn Battuta was the first to mention it in writing.
I’m tempted to bring in Ibn Battuta right along here because of his Sindbadian parallels or whatever; or also because his life experiences are so exceedingly interesting. But I think I’ll withstand the temptation and perhaps employ him or them some other time…perhaps in and adventure entitled The Man Who Was Sindbad the Sailor. Perhaps…and perhaps not.

Anyway, the book is a real treasure, and I enjoyed it immensely. I can think of a few of my friends who will love this, if they haven’t already beaten me to reading Davidson’s work.
My only regret is that it was too short. I don’t know how many of these columns he actually wrote; if another volume of his columns were collected and published, I’d get it in a heartbeat.