Regarding Doctor Who

doctor-roseI was about twelve or thirteen when I first found out about Doctor Who. The Doctor, though he’s nearly a thousand years old, is also only about four months older than I am, having made his debut in Nov. 1963 (I debuted in March 1964). But his adventures were on the BBC, and I was stuck in Bumfu Jonesboro, GA, where we didn’t get much BBC except whatever nuggets got picked up by PBS.

So my first exposure came through Doctor Who paperbacks, that I think were probably just novelizations of episodes from the show. I can sort of remember the covers, and I enjoyed them enough as a young teen that I lamented the fact I couldn’t see the actual series.

Later, and I have no idea how much later, I got to see an actual episode. Maybe it was being shown on PBS, maybe I saw it at a science fiction convention…I’m not sure. All I recall is that I was seriously disillusioned, because the show had really cheesy special effects and was, I think, campier than I’d expected. And I really don’t care for camp as a general rule. Even as a kid I disliked it.

So for most of my life, that was my Doctor Who experience. And I remember instances where I cited the show when joking about low budget genre productions that were really cheesy.

Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction show in the world. The original series ran from 1963 till 1989, there was a TV movie in 1996 that was a failed attempt at relaunch, then the show successfully relaunched in 2005 and is going strong. At this writing, there are 753 episodes. There are also two spinoff shows involving characters who originated on Doctor Who (Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures), with a third in the works focusing on The Doctor’s robot dog K-9 from the 1970s.

I watched the TV movie in 1996, and for the first time since reading those paperbacks I enjoyed Doctor Who. I don’t remember anything about it now (I’m going to rewatch it soon to see if it holds up to my older, more jaded standards), but at the time I was disappointed it didn’t go to series.

Then, recently, I started watching the rebooted series that began in 2005, and it’s simply one of the most marvelous television shows there’s ever been. Continue reading

Bruce Springsteen: Further On Up The Road

Saw Bruce Springsteen and the E. Streeters last night for my fourth time (I also saw his solo acoustic tour, and went to Jersey to see him with the Seeger Sessions Band…yes, you can touch me, especially if you’re cute). They were brilliant as ever. I’ll no doubt blog a bit more about it later, but in the meantime, here’s a great performance from the Seeger Sessions tour for you to enjoy…

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Joss Whedon Hilariously Accepts the Bradbury Award

Joss, showing yet again how freaking funny he is, as he accepts the Bradbury Award this year from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.It’s heartening that the Story God was so inspired by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury was the guy who made me decide to be a writer.

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Doc Wilde Has A Bookgasm

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Monday morning, groggy with no coffee in the cupboard, eating my oatmeal without raisins (you may figure out it’s shopping day), checking email and Facebook and Twitter…

And finding the latest review of my book, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom! It’s by Bruce Grossman at Bookgasm (“Reading material to get excited about”), and it has made up for my caffeine deficiency this morning.

…Growing up, being turned on to a series like Doc Savage opened up a new world to most readers, but the problem is that those books — even reissued so nicely — might not appeal to this new generation. Kids will look at the covers and just go, “Oh, that’s old.”

Byrd has come up with a perfect idea to showcase what pulp reading is all about. He does not hide the fact one bit that he is reworking the Doc Savage template for the character of Doc Wilde. There are so many nods and winks to the old series that we oldsters will enjoy this “ribbiting” read.

Byrd’s writing never talks down to its young readers, and all his characters are well-defined, not relying on the old stereotype of children who constantly fall into danger. The kids in this book come off as little adventurers who are ready for action and smart enough to quote H.P. Lovecraft, while Wilde is a second-generation adventurer totally in the Savage vein. Wilde’s father is a version of Doc most of us read growing up, still living at the Empire State Building on the 86th floor…

I love it that people are really getting what I tried to do, and enjoying it. Read the whole review here.

Jon Stewart, National Treasure

Jon Stewart at his best, taking conservatives to task for the escalating hissy-fits they’ve been throwing since they legitimately lost an election (as opposed to illegitimately winning one)…

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A Children’s Author Ponders Doc Wilde

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Children’s author Gail Gauthier read Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom and offered up some interesting thoughts about it on her blog. She seems to have had trouble pigeonholing it as she read the first part of the story: Continue reading

ALERT: First Doc Wilde Signing Rescheduled

Earlier, I told you folks that the Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom official debut event was to be held on Friday, May 15th. That is no longer the case.

Instead, it will be held the next evening:

The Day: Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Time: 7 pm

The Place: Little Shop of Stories in beautiful downtown Decatur, GA.

Little Shop is one of the finest bookstores in the Atlanta area. It lives next to the Starbucks in Decatur, GA., and is mostly dedicated to books for young people, but also has a smart selection of grown-up fare for grown up kids.

It’s one of those small bookstores that springs from a place of obvious vision and love, with a warm, knowledgeable staff and comfy couches. They’re very active in the community, working with schools and literacy programs as well as helping organize the famous Decatur Book Festival. And so much stellar talent has passed through that the wall behind the counter is like a museum, covered with wonderful sketches and notes from writers and artists who have visited.

I’m thrilled and proud to be officially debuting the Wilde’s adventures at Little Shop, and hope to see you there!