Jay Lake - Mainspring
Another book that's been hanging around for a while that I've finally got around to reading.
Mainspring tells of a young man's quest to rewind the eponymous spring at the heart of his clockwork world - yeah, I know. His mission takes him from his home and across the US via hobos and captivity into the air on a dirigible down to the equatorial wall. Across the wall via a giant cog -yeah, I know - after having been kidnapped by flying demon things and meeting an immortal guru not wise enough to know that the guide he gave him was a bit of a dick. Across southern Africa in the company of horny, hairy Neanderthals. Africa, where the only people he encounters are the aforementioned happy go lucky little shaggers and a city of super tall and aloof homicidal magicians. Then, down across the ocean to the south pole on a super dirigible he happens across before restarting the world via the power of love. Yeah, I know.
Andy Lane – Doctor Who: All Consuming Fire
And so we arrive at the single geekiest thing in the known universe. A meeting between the Seventh Doctor (along with Ace and Bernice Summerfield) teams up with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to combat the agents of H.P. Lovecraft’s elder gods.
The two groups come together over a set of missing books from the Vatican’s secret library of banned books, The Library of St. John the Beheaded.
Thanks to Mycroft and the Diogenes Club (via a cameo from the Third Doctor, a mention of Kim Newman’s Charles Beauregard character and an even elder Holmes brother and an alien of his acquaintance) they find themselves travelling to India in order to stop an invasion of the alien’s world by nasty brutish humans.
If this all seems a little pat then you’d be correct and things soon take a turn for the malign as plans within plans are exposed.
Lane has a nice touch. The plot is speedy and he handles the variety and volume of principles well. The dialogue is spritely, especially between Bernice and Watson as they flirt with each other. There were things I didn’t like, primarily the addition of the elder brother, but they certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book.
Jason Lutes - Jar of Fools
Story about a conjuror on the verge of a breakdown, his senile mentor, estranged girlfriend and the homeless father and daughter con artists they befriend. It's a brave attempt at a Harry Crews style cavalcade of freaks style story that almost succeeds. It's let down only by the slightly contrived and rushed feel to the ending. the art is clean, clear and concise. Not my preferred style (i like a more scratchy look to my art (Eddie Campbell is the man as far as I'm concerned)) but it flows nicely and suits the tale very much. A good read and one that I think warrants a re-read but probably not for a while.
Steve Lyons - Waiting Death
Lyons seems to be one of the kings of licensed writings. I've got a few of his books knocking around the place. This one was of audio variety.
The story was a pretty basic tale of a platoon of Catechan jungle fighters discovering a seemingly lost and forgotten group of 'hippies' in the middle of a deathworld forest. The fighters bed down with them overnight only to become besieged by mutants from the jungle.
The primary character is a stereotypical hard-bitten guard major who annoyingly repeatedly refers to himself using both name and nickname - oh and rank too. That got old pretty fast.
It wasn't a bad hours diversion though, it just wasn't a particularly good one either.