Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

A lot of Doctor Who related reading this year, what with it being the 50th anniversary and everything there was a lot available to read.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

The Doctor's Monsters

Doctor Who

  • Dark Horizons by J.T. Colgan
  • Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards
  • About Time Volume 7: 2005-2006 Series 1 & 2 by Tat Wood
  • TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 2: Patrick Troughton by Philip Sandifer
  • TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 3: Jon Pertwee by Philip Sandifer
  • The Doctor’s Monsters by Graham Sleight
  • Who-ology by Cavan Scott
  • Time & Space Visualiser by Paul Smith
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 1
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 2
  • Nemesis of the Daleks

Nemo: Heart of Ice

Graphic Novels

  • Nemo: Heart of Ice by Alan Moore
  • Fables Volume 18: Cubs in Toyland
  • Fables Volume 19: Snow White
  • The Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Death and Cigarettes
  • Justice League Volume 1: Origin
  • Demon Knights Volume 2: The Avalon Trap
  • Stormwatch Volume 2: Enemies of Earth
  • Stormwatch Volume 3: Betrayal
  • Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor
  • Willow Volume 1: Wonderland
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 3: Guarded
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 4: Welcome to the Team
  • Weasels by Elys Dolan



  • Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  • Stonemouth by Iain Banks
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
  • The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
  • London Falling by Paul Cornell
  • 1356 by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Iron King by Maurice Druon
  • Flashman and the Angel of the Lord by George MacDonald Fraser


  • Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks
  • Prime Minister Boris… and other things that never happened by Duncan Brack and Iain Dale
  • All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To by Stuart Laycock
  • Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero by Grant Morrison
  • A Radical History of Britain by Edward Vallance

A decent amount of non-fiction read this year (including an amount of decent non-fiction), plus the whole (to date) of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009

Graphic Novels

  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Phantom Pains by Peter Milligan
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Devil’s Trenchcoat by Peter Milligan
  • Midnighter: Anthem by Keith Giffen
  • Stormwatch Volume 1: The Dark Side by Paul Cornell
  • Demon Knights Volume 1: Seven Against the Dark by Paul Cornell
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 1: Freefall
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 2: On Your Own
  • The Boys Volume 10: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 12: The Bloody Doors Off by Garth Ennis
  • Fables Volume 16: Super Group by Bill Willingham
  • Fables Volume 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  • Neonomicon by Alan Moore
  • League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century 2009 by Alan Moore

A Certain Big Fat Fantasy Epic

  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  • A Storm of Swords: Part 1 Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin
  • A Storm of Swords: Part 2 Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin
  • A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  • A Dance With Dragons: Part 1 Dreams and Dust by George R. R. Martin
  • A Dance With Dragons: Part 2 After the Feast by George R. R. Martin

Whispers Under Ground

Other Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • The Bride That Time Forgot by Paul Magrs
  • Hell’s Belles! by Paul Magrs
  • Conjugal Rites by Paul Magrs
  • Doctor Who: Frayed by Tara Samms
  • Snuff by Terry Pratchett
  • Star Trek New Frontier: Blind Man’s Bluff by Peter David
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Bernice Summerfield – Life During Wartime edited by Paul Cornell

Historical (for some value of)

  • A Body In The Bath House by Lindsey Davis
  • See Delphi And Die by Lindsey Davis
  • Nemesis by Lindsey Davis
  • Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
  • King’s Man by Angus Donald
  • Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser

The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters


  • Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe by Norman Davies
  • Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
  • The Making of the British Landscape: How We Have Transformed the Land, from Prehistory to Today by Francis Pryor
  • Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood
  • Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox
  • The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters by Mark Henderson
  • Information is Beautiful by David McCandless
  • How to Land an A330 Airbus: And Other Vital Skills for the Modern Man by James May
  • How I Escaped My Certain Fate by Stewart Lee
  • Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who edited by Steve Berry

Fewer graphic novels (especially superheroes) this year – almost certainly down to Croydon libraries being a lot poorer in that respect than Lambeth.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969

Graphic Novels

  • The Boys Volume 6: The Self-Preservation Society by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 7: The Innocents by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 8: Highland Laddie by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Volume 9: The Big Ride by Garth Ennis
  • Dark Entries by Ian Rankin
  • John Constantine, Hellblazer: Pandemonium by Jamie Delano
  • John Constantine: Hellblazer: Bloody Carnations by Peter Milligan
  • Angel: After the Fall Volume 3 by Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon
  • Angel: After the Fall Volume 4 by Brian Lynch and Joss Whedon
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 8: Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 by Alan Moore
  • Tom Strong Volume 1 by Alan Moore
  • Eternals by Neil Gaiman
  • Fables Volume 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham

Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography

Doctor Who

  • Doctor Who: Dragon’s Claw by Steve Moore, Steve Parkhouse and Dave Gibbons
  • Doctor Who: The Eyeless by Lance Parkin
  • Doctor Who: The Indestructible Man by Simon Messingham
  • Doctor Who: Wolfsbane by Jacqueline Rayner
  • Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography by Elisabeth Sladen
  • Running Through Corridors: Rob and Toby’s Marathon Watch of Doctor Who (Volume 1: The 60s) by Robert Shearman and Toby Hadoke
  • Time, Unincorporated 3: The Doctor Who Fanzine Archives: (Vol. 3: Writings on the New Series) edited by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith?

The Windup Girl

Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • Never the Bride by Paul Magrs
  • Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs
  • Enter Wildthyme by Paul Magrs
  • I Shall Wear Midnight: A Story of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
  • Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
  • Transition by Iain Banks
  • Surface Detail by Iain Banks
  • The City and the City by China Mieville
  • Looking for Jake and Other Stories by China Mieville
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Other Fiction

  • Flash for Freedom! by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Flashman in the Great Game by George MacDonald Fraser
  • The Fort by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Kingdom of Light by Giulio Leoni


  • God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
  • Map Addict: A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey by Mike Parker
  • Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom by Tom Holland
  • Robin Ince’s Bad Book Club: One Man’s Quest to Uncover the Books That Taste Forgot by Robin Ince
  • Seven Million Years: The Story of Human Evolution by Douglas Palmer
  • The Story of English: How the English Language Conquered the World by Philip Gooden

Last year I said “I think 2010 may be slightly less weighted towards graphic novels”. Whoops.

How many of my 2010 books have you read?

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

Read the rest of this very true thing…

Tags: ,

As a follow-up to Desert Island Discs, the team at work have been doing our top ten films, and this week was my turn. The only condition was that one of the ten had to be set in London. Once again, I’ll be buggered if I’m writing all this lot up and not turning it into a blog post.

Forbidden Planet (1956)

I remember watching this, aged about 8, sitting on the floor at school during one of our headmaster’s film nights. As most people know, it’s Shakespeare’s Tempest mixed with a bit of Freud and set in outer space. The special effects contain some real “how did they do that back then?” moments. And notice that the starship is a flying saucer and the crew are all men – that was the status quo in almost all science fiction back then and would be for another ten years, until Star Trek rewrote the rules. The “sequel” is also well worth seeing 😉

Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)

My London film. Well the first half is set in 22nd century London (that looks awfully like 1960s London).
This is the second of the two Peter Cushing Doctor Who films, big(-ish) budget, technicolour, remakes of the first two Dalek TV stories. To be honest I prefer the TV version – the scenes of Daleks patrolling an abandoned London are much more atmospheric in B&W. But this film is more important because this was repeated on telly almost every summer holiday from the mid-70s onwards so several generations of Doctor Who fans grew up with this version in their childhood memories. So much so, that at least one later TV episode references events as they took place in the film, not the original.

The Italian Job (1969)

(Also got some London bits) I haven’t seen the remake. Why would I want to?

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Just a private enterprise operation.

The Sting (1973)

Probably the best confidence trick movie ever. And parts of it are ripped off by almost every episode of Hustle.

Star Wars (1977)

I am a member of the Star Wars generation. This film came out at the exact moment in my childhood for me to be hooked. And that’s why we have the original here, not the “more grown-up” The Empire Strikes Back. This was when George Lucas knew how to have fun, before CGI, before the “expanded universe”, before we all became cynical.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

There have been 11 Star Trek movies to date. Some of them are rubbish; some of them are good fun; two of them are really quite splendid. This is the film that saved Star Trek. After the worthy but dull and expensive Star Trek The (Slow) Motion Picture, this is the film that remembered that Trek should be fun and brash and really over acted. This is the film that gave us some of the finest Shatnerisms. (Including, of course, Khaaaaaan! )

Aliens (1986)

I think that the Special Edition of this was the first film I owned on video tape. An incredibly influential film – twenty years later and films, comics, computer games are still playing with variations of the future-war look created here. “I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

The Usual Suspects (1995)

This was from a period when I was going to the cinema a lot and seeing a lot films that have really stuck in my mind (Unforgiven, Apollo 13, Once Were Warriors, Quiz Show, Strange Days, Ed Wood) but this one stands out. Repeated viewings are about spotting clues and inconsistencies but if you saw it first without any spoilers, watching the story unfold without knowing how what came next was something special.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

(Also got some London bits) Best British film of the decade? If you grew up in the home counties, where winning village of the year was a big deal, then parts of this film are worryingly accurate…


At the start of the year I was working Wicked Web in Clerkenwell, living in West Norwood and had been going out with for six months. We went on holiday to Boston and Tennessee. WW moved office to Old Street in the spring. I went to Las Vegas for Andy’s stag weekend.


I took Lettice to Budapest for her birthday. WW started laying staff off towards the end of the year.


WW went into liquidation and hence I was made redundant. I became self-employed and started freelancing for many ex-WW clients. Went to the south of France with Lettice’s family – first time I’d ever seen the Mediterranean.


I spent the first part of the year working on a site for the BBC. Towards the end of the year I started doing contract work via an agency which meant that I got a large refund from the tax man, eventually. I went on a falconry day and flew a Harris Hawk. I asked Lettice to marry me.


I started this blog and spent several months working for the Home Office.


I gave up freelancing and started work at Visit London. I started cross posting this blog to LiveJournal and joined LibraryThing and Last.FM. I moved house to larger flat, ten minutes down the road from the old one, and Lettice moved in. We got married and went on honeymoon in Canada. 🙂


I learnt XSLT. 🙁 Lettice also started to work at VL. I joined Flickr


Relaunched with a new CMS, clocking up a stupid number of days off in lieu in the process. I did jury duty. I joined Facebook. We went to Dublin and Amsterdam.


We went to Venice. I learnt JSP and jQuery. I joined Twitter


We went to Barcelona and tried to buy a house. I grew a moustache for charity.

Via Miss SB comes the Can you list all your MPs? meme.

  • 1973 – 1974 Geoffrey Howe (Con) Reigate
  • 1974 – 1976 George Gardiner (Con) Reigate
  • 1976 – 1979: Sir George Evelyn Sinclair (Con) Dorking
  • 1979 – 1983: Keith Wickenden (Con) Dorking
  • 1983 – 1992: Kenneth Baker (Con) Mole Valley
  • 1992 – 1997: John Patten (Con) Oxford West and Abingdon
  • 1997 – 1998: Paul Beresford (Con) Mole Valley
  • 1998 – present: Tessa Jowell (Lab) Dulwich and West Norwood

Baker, Patten and Jowell are the ones I was aware of, which was depressing enough…


Hey kids, the latest craze is to stack your (toy) animals. Well it keeps us off the streets…

It’s November so some brave souls are embarking upon this year’s NoNoWriMo. Good luck to you if you’re one of them.

I’m in no way dedicated enough to try an entire novel in one month, but I do want to write more so I’m declaring November to be my NaBloPoMo – I will be endeavouring to post at least once a day for the next 30 days.

“Na No Wri Mo Na Blo Po Mo” – I think I know how RTD comes up with Judoon dialogue.

From Cocktail Party Physics, via Pharyngula comes another book meme, this one about popular science books. The rules are:

  1. Highlight those you’ve read in full
  2. Asterisk those you intend to read
  3. Add any additional popular science books you think belong on the list
  4. Link back to the great pop-sci book project

  1. Micrographia, Robert Hooke
  2. The Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin
  3. Never at Rest, Richard Westfall
  4. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman
  5. Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney
  6. The Devil’s Doctor, Philip Ball
  7. The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes
  8. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, Dennis Overbye
  9. Physics for Entertainment, Yakov Perelman
  10. 1-2-3 Infinity, George Gamow
  11. The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
  12. Warmth Disperses, Time Passes, Hans Christian von Bayer
  13. Alice in Quantumland, Robert Gilmore
  14. Where Does the Weirdness Go? David Lindley
  15. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
  16. A Force of Nature, Richard Rhodes
  17. Black Holes and Time Warps, Kip Thorne
  18. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  19. Universal Foam, Sidney Perkowitz
  20. Vermeer’s Camera, Philip Steadman
  21. The Code Book, Simon Singh
  22. The Elements of Murder, John Emsley
  23. Soul Made Flesh, Carl Zimmer
  24. Time’s Arrow, Martin Amis
  25. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, George Johnson
  26. Einstein’s Dreams, Alan Lightman
  27. Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
  28. The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, Lisa Jardine
  29. A Matter of Degrees, Gino Segre
  30. The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss
  31. E=mc², David Bodanis
  32. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife
  33. Absolute Zero: The Conquest of Cold, Tom Shachtman
  34. A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, Janna Levin
  35. Warped Passages, Lisa Randall
  36. Apollo’s Fire, Michael Sims
  37. Flatland, Edward Abbott
  38. Fermat’s Last Theorem, Amir Aczel
  39. Stiff, Mary Roach
  40. Astroturf, M.G. Lord
  41. The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
  42. Longitude, Dava Sobel
  43. The First Three Minutes, Steven Weinberg
  44. The Mummy Congress, Heather Pringle
  45. The Accelerating Universe, Mario Livio
  46. Math and the Mona Lisa, Bulent Atalay
  47. This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin
  48. The Executioner’s Current, Richard Moran
  49. Krakatoa, Simon Winchester
  50. Pythagorus’ Trousers, Margaret Wertheim
  51. Neuromancer, William Gibson
  52. The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios
  53. The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump, Sandra Hempel
  54. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Katrina Firlik
  55. Einstein’s Clocks and Poincare’s Maps, Peter Galison
  56. The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
  57. The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
  58. The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker
  59. An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears
  60. Consilience, E.O. Wilson
  61. Wonderful Life, Stephen J. Gould
  62. Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard
  63. Fire in the Brain, Ronald K. Siegel
  64. The Life of a Cell, Lewis Thomas
  65. Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris
  66. Storm World, Chris Mooney
  67. The Carbon Age, Eric Roston
  68. The Black Hole Wars, Leonard Susskind
  69. Copenhagen, Michael Frayn
  70. From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne
  71. Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson
  72. Chaos, James Gleick
  73. Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos
  74. The Physics of NASCAR, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
  75. Subtle is the Lord, Abraham Pais

PZ Meyers felt there wasn’t enough biology and so added these:

  1. Basin and Range, John McPhee
  2. Beak of the Finch, Jonathan Weiner
  3. Chance and Necessity, Jacques Monod
  4. Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation, Olivia Judson
  5. Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Sean Carroll
  6. Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, Carl Zimmer
  7. Genome, Matt Ridley
  8. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
  9. It Ain’t Necessarily So, Richard Lewontin
  10. On Growth and Form, D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson
  11. Phantoms in the Brain, VS Ramachandran
  12. The Ancestor’s Tale, Richard Dawkins
  13. The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution, Elisabeth Lloyd
  14. The Eighth Day of Creation, Horace Freeland Judson
  15. The Great Devonian Controversy, Martin Rudwick
  16. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver Sacks
  17. The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould
  18. The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment, Richard Lewontin
  19. Time, Love, Memory, Jonathan Weiner
  20. Voyaging and The Power of Place, Janet Browne
  21. Woman: An Intimate Geography, Natalie Angier

And I’ll chuck in a few suggestions of my own to bring it to a round one hundred.

  1. Cosmos, Carl Sagan
  2. Life: An Unauthorized Biography, Richard Fortey
  3. The Dinosaur Heresies, Robert T. Bakker