Picture of author.

Lawrence Miles

Forfatter af Alien Bodies

33+ Værker 2,032 Medlemmer 39 Anmeldelser 4 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Værker af Lawrence Miles

Alien Bodies (1997) — Forfatter — 233 eksemplarer, 4 anmeldelser
Interference, Book One: Shock Tactic (1999) — Forfatter — 199 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Interference, Book Two: The Hour of the Geek (1998) — Forfatter — 194 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
The Adventuress of Henrietta Street (2001) — Forfatter — 162 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
Christmas on a Rational Planet (1996) — Forfatter — 150 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
About Time 1: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who: Seasons 1 to 3 (2006) — Forfatter — 136 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
About Time 2: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who: Seasons 4 to 6 (2006) — Forfatter — 120 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
Down (1997) — Forfatter — 87 eksemplarer
The Book of the War (2002) 81 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
This Town Will Never Let Us Go (2003) 73 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Dead Romance (1999) 61 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Dead Romance {2004 special edition} (1999) — Forfatter — 47 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
The Adolescence of Time (2008) 18 eksemplarer
A Romance in Twelve Parts (2011) — Redaktør — 12 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
In the Year of the Cat 6 eksemplarer
Sabbath Dei (2002) 6 eksemplarer
Shadow Play 6 eksemplarer
The Eleven Day Empire (2001) 6 eksemplarer
Coming to Dust (2005) — Forfatter — 6 eksemplarer
Grass 4 eksemplarer
Body Politic — Forfatter — 4 eksemplarer
Ozymandias — Forfatter — 4 eksemplarer
Ship of a Billion Years — Forfatter — 4 eksemplarer

Associated Works

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection (2002) — Bidragyder — 266 eksemplarer, 4 anmeldelser
Short Trips and Side Steps (2000) — Author "Vrs" — 138 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Decalog 5: Wonders: Ten Stories, A Billon Years, An Infinite Universe (1997) — Bidragyder — 69 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury (2004) — Bidragyder — 60 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Fantasy: The Best of 2001 (2002) — Bidragyder — 42 eksemplarer
Perfect Timing 2 (1999) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden

Middlesex, England



An "everything and the kitchen sink" approach to ideas/concepts, some of them quite promising, but stymied by dull and muddled presentation. Too much time on original side characters I didn't care about (and struggled to keep straight), not enough time on the Doctor. The book only really came alive when he was on the page and Lawrence Miles just let him do his thing. And while I've only read one other book featuring Sam as a companion, I can't believe that a 17/18-year-old who's canonically taken drugs, gone to (gay) clubs, and taken part in political rallies, was choosing to read Mizz magazine in her downtime. Mizz! As a very sheltered teen in the late '90s, I was starting to age out of Mizz (the UK and Ireland equivalent of Nonthreatening Boy Monthly) at 13 or 14. It was a throwaway line, but kind of a revealing one in terms of how much Lawrence Miles was capable of bringing to his female characters.

To damn with faint praise, I'll say that the '90s produced a lot of media that was far weirder, and more overtly so, about women, than Alien Bodies is, but there's a bunch of stuff in here that has, um, not aged well: sentient humanoid-form Tardises that look like non-white women who are described as "Amazonian" and curvaceous yet also not attractive; also explicitly compared to cars; multiple references, even from non-human characters, to Vodou as a blood-thirsty cult, with even the Doctor thinking disparagingly of something as "disgusting" and an example of "voodoo science"; one human character, whose dialogue is rendered in an odd, quasi-phonetic manner, reminds another of "the videocasts she’d seen of the urban tribes in Little São Paolo [...] Brazilian features and all", only his "rough, tanned, pockmarked" face has eyes that are "Pale blue. Aryan blue." Lot of choices there. I don't think they were conscious ones, necessarily, but these and others kept me from ever warming up to what the book was trying to do.
… (mere)
siriaeve | 3 andre anmeldelser | Jun 3, 2024 |
A major (two volume) upgrade of this book is to be released in 2023, removing some of Miles' work (no doubt) as Tat Wood is now the central author of these, having already released updated versions of the other colour Doctors. I think this version is verbose and self-consciously erudite enough for me, actually!
therebelprince | 5 andre anmeldelser | Apr 21, 2024 |
Alright, alright, quit torturing me and I'll confess! Yes, it's true: I don't get on with Lawrence Miles. He's just... too much.

To recap for newcomers: Miles is something of a cult figure in Doctor Who fandom. As a very young man, he made his name writing several novels for the range, at a time when prose was the main medium for the series, and thus highly important. Although he went on to write plenty of sci-fi novels and other works during the 2000s and 2010s, and thus I'm sure considers himself to have made a considerable achievement in the world of letters, he never got what many of his comrades received: TV fame. Many of the (slightly older) luminary writers of the novels and short stories - among them Russell T Davies, Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss, Chris Chibnall, Steven Moffat, Gareth Roberts - went on to be heavily involved in the TV program, not to mention now noted speculative fiction writer Ben Aaronovitch. Lawrence Miles had a different journey in mind.

Miles' view of what Doctor Who could be (should be?) is markedly different from Davies and Moffat in particular. They envision a family-friendly program, focused (to a certain extent) on standalone hours of television which are fan-inspired but can appeal to grandma or your lunkhead cousin. Miles wants the program to be more along the lines of those old sci-fi series like Farscape or Babylon 5: dense, complex sci-fi stories, deliberately plotted over multiple seasons, even though they will languish on cable channels and be ever at the brink of cancellation. The fact that Davies views Who as a modern drama in the soap opera mould and Moffat sees it as a fairytale without the need to dig deep into character or science especially galled dear Lawrence. He was boisterously, savagely critical of what he perceived to be the former's faults, but was - dare I say - venomous and rancorously unpleasant about the latter. (As it happens, I share ol' Larry's view about Moffat, although I also recognise he made an entertaining program that delighted millions. Conversely I think that Russell produced some of the best Who in its history. So, there.)

How does this impact Alien Bodies? Well, Miles had already written numerous books but this was his first for the new Eighth Doctor range, where he had more opportunity to influence the world-building and broader concepts of the series. And, my goodness, he went broad. There are a heckuva lot of ideas on display here. A putative future in which the US (or at least a Republican-controlled part of a Balkanised former US) invaded Canada. In which the military organisations at the heart of the series for decades were broken up and replaced. In which science has found a way to bio-engineer leopards whose visual and aural memories are passed through their urine, allowing people with the right technology to "read" those memories from puddles of the stuff. In which a species is able to exist as a type of mental parasite, inside your head and communicating with you by manipulating your mind to read their words in newspapers and signs. In which a dead man shows up to an auction, and it's a perfectly normal part of his species. Not to mention the expansive editions to the program's own mythology: semi-sentient TARDISes from the Doctor's future! A military-industrial complex that has been trying to find ways to assassinate the Doctor for three hundred years! A Time War taking place well into the Doctor's future which could destroy his people! Not to mention an age-old cult of Time Lords who thrive on tearing apart the rules of time.

You see what I mean? It's a lot.

Now, there are two schools of thought here. One would say that Miles' approach is simply "not Doctor Who". Every framework should be malleable but there are limits to what can be part of a series and what can't. (I think of those Murder, She Wrote episodes from the show's middle years where Angela Lansbury was overworked and so a completely unrelated detective would investigate a completely unrelated case for an entire episode. Multiple times a season. Was it really MSW or just a way to sell some ads?) If you need to rewrite vast tracts of what we've known for thirty-five years and disorient the physics and history of the world we've come to understand, have you in fact just created your own program under someone else's banner? The other viewpoint is that this is the very reason Who stagnated in the 1980s and, indeed, into the novel range. It had been playing it safe, Who by numbers, and it was time to tear down the fabric and start weaving it again.

Ultimately, I'm in the first camp. I agree that the program could play it safe, and I have found several of the other novels dissatisfying for this reason. Indeed, given that it's clear that Davies and Moff stole or absorbed or coincidentally latched on to several of Miles' ideas (I suspect all of the above, as some of them - like the sentient TARDIS - are clearly lingering in the air in fandom) for the TV series, Miles is not completely out of the realm of possibility. But there are just so many ideas all the time. He wants to make the world weird and conceptual and Douglas Adamsy, and as someone who doesn't enjoy Adams and rather likes his stories to make some level of sense, this isn't for me. There are some phenomenal moments, and I admire that he rehabilitated the Krotons. And I'm sad to make this complaint because, as I say, I am broadly anti-Moffat. I want my stories full not empty, I want my stories to have ideas not just plots. But this just made me tired. And it's not merely the concepts that annoyed me; there's a level of pretention to the approach which I couldn't endorse. The 25-year-old author has a confidence in his own abilities which isn't always matched by the output. Take for himself his occasional interruptions into the narrative voice ("It was a Kroton thing; they wouldn't understand") which strive for for playful but read as juvenile. Of course, the range's editors bear some responsibility for this. The cute allusions to popular sci-fi of the time (Twin Peaks, The X-Files, etc) are the kind of "clever" elements I would have included in my story ideas of my early 20s, so I see what Miles was going for. But we're a long way from that period now, so they help to date the book dramatically. (Not in itself a fault; authors don't tend to write books for consumption 25 years later, and nor should they. And this has been a problem with most authors of this range. But it stings nevertheless.)

(I amend this review to note that I recognise some of the circumstances which led to this. The BBC had reclaimed the novels from Virgin Publishing, had set about without much initial guidance in order to get the series going and, allegedly, had an editor who didn't really care at the time. Miles took what he saw as a dull companion and a bland focus and determined to knock it on its head. For that he can be commended, and I'll be intrigued to see whether the novels fight back or if they accept this new direction. I suspect not.)

I don't feel great about criticising Miles for his ambition or his iconoclastic nature, but sometimes these things must be said. Grand ideas can be positive; I recently read Paul Leonard's Venusian Lullaby which does a wonderful job of bringing several challenging approaches into the standard Doctor Who framework. "Everything and the kitchen sink too" can also be a valid approach; I've enjoyed every one of Gareth Roberts' novels, and he's never one to leave any passenger behind. Uniting those two approaches though proves to be an aggressive combination, at least for this naive millennial reader.
… (mere)
therebelprince | 3 andre anmeldelser | Apr 21, 2024 |
DNF . this one failed the 100 page rule. Too much sex and violence but not enough story to make up for it.

re-read 9/9/2023
catseyegreen | 2 andre anmeldelser | Sep 11, 2023 |


Måske også interessante?

Associated Authors

Tat Wood Author
Alistair Lock Director, Narrator
Helen Fayle Contributor
Daniel O'Mahony Contributor
Jonathan Dennis Contributor
Lesley Jane Narrator
Gabriel Woolf Narrator
Alan Stevens Director
Ian McIntire Contributor
Jim Calafiore Illustrator
Mark Clapham Contributor
Simon Bucher-Jones Contributor
Kelly Hale Contributor
Mags L. Halliday Contributor
Robert Lock Narrator
Tracy Russell Narrator
Julian Glover Narrator
Isla Blair Narrator
Philip Madoc Narrator
Violet Addison Contributor
Dave Hoskin Contributor
Blair Bidmead Contributor
Cody Schell Cover designer
Jay Eales Contributor
Matt Kimpton Contributor
Scott Harrison Contributor
David N. Smith Contributor
James Milton Contributor
Stuart Douglas Contributor
Lawrence Burton Cover artist
Ian Potter Contributor
Robin Fry Narrator
Kirsty Maginn Narrator
Peter Miles Narrator
Mike Posen Cover artist
Mark Salwowski Cover artist
David Wyatt Cover artist
Steve Johnson Cover artist


Also by

Diagrammer og grafer