So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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Book of July;The Tower of Babel by G.T. Anders

The Tower of Babel (Vaulan Cycle)

Exciting, new, fresh, a complete suprise!

Having been asked to review this book, I was looking forward to a dip into Science Fiction  being a child of the Asimov generation, but not having read much SciFi for years.

A dying world, where a new Tower of Babel is being built.  A hero who is an artist and a sort of  mystic and a  call to go back to complete a mission.  What’s going on?  I’m not going to tell. Suffice to say, this is a book with a plot that is fulfilled in all the literary ways.  It has drama and great suspense, and it’s unique.  The words of the hero Austin is often more poetic than prose. G.T Anders has experimented with new ideas with prose, and they work, they aren’t intrusive, they build this fantastic, sad world. There are monsters and mysteries and bad baddies and a narrative that spoon feeds you nothing. No long-winded explanations, you have to work at it like the characters but you are carried along.   The ending is beautiful in it’s technique and the final divine love that comes through.

Amazing.  This book needs to be picked up by a Publisher.  Now.


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‘Alone’ by TR Sullivan

 

You can now click on the book link!

I really enjoyed writing about the Shack, so thought I’d do some more reviews. My latest vice is going onto Amazon and downloading free books, and this one caught my eye. Its number 14 today on the free books, so I’m not the only one reading it!  As I’ve earlier blogged, I’m of the original generation to watch the French Robinson Crusoe series as a kid, and now have it on DVD. Did you know there’s a second Robinson book, where he goes back to the Island? This is Robinson but without a shipwreck and for me a far more pleasant companion, Jason the dog. I’m going to try SO hard not to spoil the plot but make you want to read this!

No explanation is given for the disappearance of man from the face of the earth, which I find refreshing – as a Christian, I find so much end time speculation downright boring and mis-directing. The brotherhood of the dogs makes me think a bit of Dodie Smith‘s, ‘The Midnight Barking’ anyone read that?  I found Ralph such a practical man and how he coped enthralling.  Still, I couldn’t help wonder whether if the plot were set in the time of mobiles there could have been a whole new plot – especially when you read the epilogue!!!!!!!  Of course it was intrinsically sad and I don’t usually like that sort of book.  Its one that goes into the I will re read this one category which doesn’t happen with many books.

As a kid I loved to read Science Fiction short stories, and read one end of world one, where by chance a business man and a maid were locked in a closed air circuit room the night the Russians and USA blast each other with chemical war fare that wipes out man.  Nowadays the politicians would have hidden in such a bunker, but not thought of then.  The story was of how they made a family re introduce man – very inbred, but a story I’d love to read again too -fat chance of that though!

So, Alone, well written, good plot, sad, gripping, and haunting.  I’m off to download his short stories……..


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Dr Who and TV and God

Sigur, Aravakur, Lucca, our Icelandic therapists to be!

I’ve just watched the Christmas special from last year and it had the old grey cells ticking.  My favourite course with the Open University was  on film criticism and  this programme  had the analysing bits of the brain going.

When we were in the UK for Christmas we enjoyed the English tv, oh so different from Austrian. George laughed at us being interested in the adverts!  In Austria there are a lot of ‘Crimmis’ in other word detective dramas – Midsommer Murders is Inspector Barnaby here. Sickly sweet, kitsch homely dramas, and romances such as Rosamund Pilcher (made in German in GB).  Nature documentaries, mostly about cute animals bouncing around mountains, a few soaps, but hardly ever a good sit-com, nothing like Time team and very rarely science Fiction.  Endless Mr Bean and old films. Lots of beer adverts and ski gear can’t think why! There is far less graphic violence, but there seems no watershed, we’ve seen people doing nookie at about four o’clock in afternoon- most shocking.  Maybe our watershed shows England’s Victorian roots too, another instance – most family catalogues in Austria  similar to Universal have a sections for sex aids and porn dvds!

There are none of the credit adverts here, but a lot  the big home furnishing shops like XXXlutz and of course the supermarkets – no BOGOFs here, more like buy two get two free and so on.  I digress.

The Dr Who Christmas special was advertised as being like Christmas Carol.  The world depicted was a Dickensian yet modern world, with dirty smokey streets,street urchins and poor housing.  All ruled over by a tyrant.  But they were nevertheless going to celebrate Christmas and Carols were being played over a tannoy.  In one scene, a traditional Christmas meal was eaten. The tyrant had a Christmas tree in the past in his house although it was also in a Dickensian gloom. Like Scrooge, the villain was faced with his past, but not with Ghosts but with the Doctor intervening and changing his past. The result was  he relented and let the doomed spaceship land, and went off with his dying love.  The main excitement was that it snowed.

What struck me was that the world shown was pretty near England today, as depicted in the media – both tv and press.  A Godless land where Christmas has no meaning beyond a family celebration, where Carols were sung but with no reference to the meaning.  Yet celebrated. The world of no hope – caused by a tyrant who is released from his Scrooge – like self  by the Doctor, no Ghosts of past and present. There was no hope there, as in the original Scrooge becoming a benefactor of the poor, just more of the same old, same old.

I worry that the Doctor is being made a messianic figure , the past series have put him behind so many world events such as Pompei, meeting Churchill in the Second world war and so on.   But is this what happens when a land has its God removed by Political correctness, a weak church and a Bill of human rights that makes a travesty of life?  Where the faith of the country is lesser than the rights of other faiths and homosexuality? The world in the Christmas special seemed a metaphor for England today, with the only hope being a fictional spaceman, not God.  I’m so glad I live in a country where the coming of Jesus is fully and openly celebrated, where the meaning has not been lost.