Book Blog Tour Stop#4: Book Reviews

Today we’re flying across the other side of the world to the UK for a morning cuppa with Penny Blake - storyteller and writer of mythpunk and steampunk - on The Adventures of Smith and Skarry. Messrs Smith and Skarry chat about my latest eBooks in the series.

Follow the link to read my guest post on her blog: The Adventures of Smith and Skarry

Please feel free to comment at The Adventures of Smith and Skarryhere or at the FB event page.

Competition #3:

Once you've read Penny's post at The Adventures of Smith and Skarry (the answer's there), don't forget to come back and answer the quiz question in the comments below (the competition is running on my webpage and FB event page only). One winner will be randomly selected from entries with the correct answers and announced in tomorrow morning's intro post.

Today's question: Whose life is in danger in 'Tomorrow, When I Die'?

Today's prize: an eBook copy of From the Depths.

Competition terms and conditions:

You can enter once.  No purchase is required.

To enter, answer the day's question in the comments below on the corresponding post at www.karenjcarlisle.com

Begin your entry comment with ANSWER: (to make it clear you wish to enter). One winner is chosen randomly from those with the correct answer posted in comments below before 8.00 am Friday 29th September, 2017. (Australian Central Standard Time. ie. Adelaide time) and will be announced on the morning blog post at www.karenjcarlisle.com at or about 11 am on Friday 29th September, 2017. (Australian Central Standard Time. ie. Adelaide time).

Prize is one eBook of From the Depths and cannot be redeemed for cash. Prize is redeemed via Smashwords. The winner will be advised to email me to receive Voucher code and instructions on how to redeem your prize and must redeem prize by 15th October, 2017.

Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to Karen J Carlisle and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for this competition and will not be shared with any other party.

Friday: Sounds and Pictures.

In place of Photo Friday - this week I'm talking music. A few weeks back I was contacted by Townsville indie steampunk band, The Littmus Steampunk Band. They wanted to know if I was interested in listening to their work.  Why not, I said.  Richard said he'd send me a CD to check out. I found their youTube channel. I listened to a couple of songs, liked what I heard and awaited my pressie in the post. Not long after I got a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting one CD i the post. I received three! First thing I noticed was the band had female musicians through its various incarnations. This was lovely to see (though many steampunk bands appear to have female members - woot!) Next, was the cover artwork (well, I am an artist). My favrourite was the clock on Grand Hotel (#2). The third album, Watching You We Are, is striking, with a metallic-makeuped model. Richard sent a note with the CDs and recommended I listen to them in order (and was kind enough to number them); I recommend the same as there is a progressive story threaded through various songs on each album. (very clever). These are the 6th, 7th and 8th of their CDs with a steampunk style. I like music that is a little different - with an interesting voice, unusual key changes or a quirky chorus. Richard (The Red Gentleman)'s voice has a steampunky-folksy-cabaret feel, with an accent sliding from Australian to English, depending on the song. The music is fun and relaxing (and great writing music! I got two scenes completed listening to the CDs). I found myself tapping my toe and singing along on many of the songs. The band's Facebook page describes their music as Steampunk Pop/ Folk. I think I'd describe their style as steampunk folk cabaret music. One of my favourite songs is Say Goodbye to Steampunk. (The answer of course is 'I don't think so.') https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pulBkq4qKkc
Band members are:
Richard (The Red Gentleman - Guitar / Vocals) Keith (Mungo Stoker - Electric Guitar) Jemma (Commander J - Bass) Tony (Harbottle Grimstone) - Congas, Ukelele Sam (Countess Victoria Edison_Ives- Violin)
Record Label: Syrup Records
Where to find The Littmus Steampunk Band: Verdict: If you like The Cog is Dead (one of my favourite steampunk bands), I think you'll like The Littmus Steampunk Band.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle/ ©Littmus Steampunk Band.

Cry Wolf.

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead on Doctor Who episode, World Enough and Time.

>>

By the time you read this, some of you will probably already know the answers to questions posited. I won't have my answer until tonight.  Until then, here are some thoughts, tempered by several days of waiting...

Last week's episode of Doctor Who was a killer. Literally. We've known all season this is Peter Capaldi's last set of adventures as the Doctor. He will be sorely missed - a great actor, bringing complex layers to the part. But there was some doubt on the timing of Pearl Mackie's departure: would she leave at the end of the season, or continue as companion with the next, as yet un-named, Doctor? Kill Bill rumours circulated up til last Sunday. Then nothing.

Then came World Enough and Time. The episodes title is a line from the poem, To My Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell (1621–1678), full of death imagery. It has been alternatively considered a solemn poem of regret, an apparent epitaph for a loved one, or an ironic statement on seduction. - a possible epitaph for the Doctor, but is it for Bill as well?

At the end of the episode, it seems we are losing both. I say 'seem', because Moffat does not have a great track record when it comes to letting go, having resurrected Amy, Rory and Clara (multiple times).

Not since Adric (5th Doctor), has a character truly died (once), never to return. His death (whether you liked him or not) was even made more poignant by the first time we ever had a silent credit role, giving the viewer time to digest the sudden loss.

In World Enough and Time, the horror of Bill's fate is drawn out over the entire episode, unveiling the process of her fate via the conversion of others. For Bill it was ten years of waiting for the Doctor to save her - so when the moment came, we were shocked.

But moments that should have garnered the biggest feels - the camera lingering on the hole in Bill's chest, The Master's betrayal leading to Bill's conversion, and the close up of a tear in the converted Bill's eye behind her Cyberman mask - all lost most of their gravitas due to the many (many) cries of wolf by Moffat. These moments that should (and did intially) shock quickly dissolved into niggling thoughts of 'is this a dream sequence', 'how is he going to bring back the companion this time' and 'here we go again'.

 

The devices used for ramping up the creepy factor, such as the silent cries of pain by the Cybermen and the growing realisation Bill was facing a fate worse than death,  were brilliant.  Unfortunately all were wasted. Was it just another of Moffat's teases? Would he weedle out of it all again? Why should this be any different? I'd become inoculated against his shock tactics.

I spent the rest of the episode second-guessing Moffat's motives and not appreciating some great acting, clever one-liners and foreshadowing of events to come.

There were two options:

  1. Bill is dead. Not a preferred option, as I really liked Bill's character and consider her the best companion since Donna (and River).
  2. A Moffat miracle to return Bill to the (new) Doctor's side (possibly with mechanical heart?). And, while I don't want to lose Bill as a companion just yet, this is even more annoying than option #1, for the reasons stated above.

I should have loved this episode. It had the feel of old Doctor Who, with many  nods to The Tenth Planet, and presented the return of the Mondasian Cybermen. The Doctor's old nemesis - and friend - The Master, also returned - patiently waiting and savouring his final moment of victory over the Doctor. This was a return of the old Master: patient, calculating and pure evil.

But Moffat has does this all before. He's cried wolf so many times. When the moment finally arrived, Bill's moment seemed destined to go the way of Clara in Face The Raven.

I will miss Peter Capaldi's Doctor, and Bill Potts - if tonight proves me wrong - but I won't miss Moffat. I'm looking forward to a new showrunner and new stories to surprise us.