Tag Archive: Book Review

Ace Of Scheduling

Like sands through the hourglass… No, not going there.

First up, a change in our programing. Originally we were going to do “The Aztecs” for Friday Night Who on 6/26, but that has changed to “The Web Of Fear” (Parts 1-3). More details forthcoming…

TTV #235 is our reviews of two more Paul McGann Big Finish 8th Doctor Adventures, #5 “Phobos” and #6 “No More Lies”.

FNW on 7/3 is the second half of “The Web Of Fear” (Parts 4-6).

And now the reason for the change. To help integrate and interact a bit with our Traveling The Vortex Book Club over on Goodreads, we’re actually going to use episode #236 to review the book selection from the month of June!  Lethbridge Stewart: The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen.

FNW 7/10 is Matt Smith in “A Good Man Goes To War”.

TTV #237 will be all about our misadventures in Omaha for this year’s British Fest 2015 (featuring friend of the show Simon Fisher-Becker!

Finally, a plan that has been in the works from almost the inception of this podcast! Friday Night Who on 7/17 is “Ghost Light” (Our apologies in advance, as we know this one is NOT readily available to most folk since the DVD is out of print.)

FNW 7/24 is “The Curse Of Fenric” (and much easier to get ahold of via Netflix, although this one too is out of print on DVD.)

Traveling The Vortex #239 has our review of “The Curse Of Fenric”, and Big Finish #58 “Harvest”.

* CORRECTION Originally this read Big Finish #67 “Dreamtime”. Shaun skipped ahead, and it wasn’t until just now that Keith caught it. The actual review will be over #58 “Harvest”. Sorry for the confusion and late notice!

We’ll finish out July on 7/31 with “Survival” for Friday Night Who.

And then the culmination! TTV #240 is a Companion Archive – Dorothy Gale McShane and The Ace Trilogy: “Ghost Light”, “The Curse Of Fenric”, “Survival”.

Ol’ Sixie graces FNW on 8/7 in “Attack Of The Cybermen”.

And graces our podcast #241, wherein we’ll discuss Kansas City ComicCon (KCCC) featuring… you guessed it, Colin Baker!

Jump back to New Who for Friday Night Who on 8/14 with “Partners In Crime”.

And then a special TTV #242 to celebrate Titan Doctor Who Comics Day!


Beyond that? Well, the word on the street is that a certain Time Lord will be gracing our television screens again in some all new adventures for season 9… Easter Saturday can’t come soon enough!

Book Review: Girl Parts by John M. Cusick

girl_partsNever judge a book by it’s cover. That’s the lesson we’re taught early and often as children and it never fails to be an important one.  So when I was at my local library and saw a girl in a packing box full of styrofoam peanuts smiling suggestively at me from the cover of a book called Girl Parts, that adage ran through my head…  and I’m ashamed to admit that I checked it out anyway.

But what I found once I got into it’s pages was a wonderfully written, contemporary  coming-of-age story.  It’s reminiscent in tone to one of my all-time favorite books, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, an achievement all the more impressive that this book features no war, no aliens and no Battle School.  It’s a book about relationships.

The book revolves around David and Charlie, two boys literally as opposite as can be, but the one thing they have in common is an inability to communicate and have meaningful relationships with girls.  When David’s parents present him with a Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat “dissociative disorder”, he can’t get enough of the hot and luscious Rose.  But Companion bots have intimacy clocks that determine when affection can be shown. And when David moves too fast, he gets an electric shock.  Spurned by the one she’s programed to love, Rose turns to Charlie.  With his help she may grow beyond her programing into a real person, and her own best friend.

Shades of Pinocchio and AI abound, but Cusick takes a story that could be familiar and pedestrian and puts a new spin on it.  Not only does it work, but it works well.  The book is set just far enough in the future that the idea of an android is fine, but still feels contemporary.  The boys still drive cars and bicycles, the kids in class have to pass actual notes since texting is outlawed.  It’s these touches that flesh the story out and make the world feel real.

Reading about these kids who spend all their time on-line in class, then come home and spend all their time in virtual settings on their computers, it’s no wonder they’re “dissociative”.  But then I watched family members open Kindles and iPads and cell phones for Christmas, and I began wondering if there wasn’t more to Cusick’s tale, despite being published in 2010.