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The Also People

af Ben Aaronovitch

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Serier: Doctor Who: The New Adventures (44), Doctor Who {non-TV} (NA Novel)

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The Doctor has taken his companions to parad ise, or at least the closest thing he can find. A sun enclos ed by an artificial sphere where there is no want, poverty o r violence. But their peace is shattered by murder. '
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The Doctor takes Benny, Roz, and Chris on vacation to the Worldsphere, a world populated by the technologically advanced, utopians society of The People. In addition to the advanced People - who can change their shape and gender - the Worldsphere is populated with sentient artificial lifeforms, including God (who got its name as a joke from watching over the Worldsphere), ships, drones, and even tables, bathtubs, and parachutes.Because The People are so technologically advanced they have a nonaggression treaty with the Time Lords that prevents them from developing time travel. The Doctor and God are friendly but also don't trust one another and dance around a lot of tensions. And despite saying the visit to the Worldsphere is a holiday, the Doctor also has ulterior motives involving an old frenemy, and a difficult decision for Benny. When a drone is murdered, the Doctor also volunteers to investigate the crime, and Roz is key in using her skills in the procedural story.The Also People is inspired by a science-fiction series called the Culture by Iain M. Banks. I'm not at all familiar with Banks' work, but it does appear to be another example of Doctor Who crashing into another genre and making another story. ( )
1 stem Othemts | Feb 25, 2019 |
Question, what is the easiest way to double the price of a pretty ordinary book written in the 90s and turn it into a collectors edition? Do a limited print run. This is basically what they did with the Virgin New Doctor Who books. This book is now over 15 years old and when it was first released you could purchase it for $10.00 Australian dollars (and that was when the Aussie was worth 0.75 US cents) but I just checked the price of this book out on Amazon and for a brand new copy you will be forking out $30.00 US. Used copies start at $23.00 US, and this is not the most expensive. If you want a brand new copy of Just War, expect to be paying upwards of $60.00 US. Now, I don't mind paying top dollar of an antique book in good condition, but a pulp novel, I don't think so.
Anyway, this is one of the stranger Doctor Who books. They land up in what is called a Dyson Sphere. A Dyson Sphere is a sphere that surrounds a star and the inside of the sphere is inhabited by the population. I am not entirely sure how the theory is supposed to work since there will be no night and day within the sphere, and as I understand it, the night and day cycle is important because it keeps the planet cooled down. I believe Mercury is set in a fixed rotation so that one side is always facing the sun and the other side is always facing away from the sun, which means one side is blistering hot, while the other side is freezing cold. It is only a narrow patch between the two sides which is theoretically habitable (ignoring the fact that it is Mercury). Therefore one of the flaws that I see in the Dyson sphere is that the surface of the sphere is always facing the sun therefore there is no way for it to cool down and thus the entire surface is likely to end up burning out.
I first heard of the Dyson Sphere in one of the Rigby-Osbourne books on the future. These books were for children, and they were exploring some of the wonderful scientific postulations that could come about. No doubt the development of a Dyson Sphere would be thousands of years into the future and the race that develops it would by highly advanced. This is the case in the Also People, particularly when we consider the blurb which suggests that they have a non-aggression pact with the Time Lords.
Now that is pretty much all I can remember from the book, with the exception of the funny names that they used (they attempted to create names using exclamation marks and the like, which in Kalahari, denotes a clicking sound – a friend from Zimbabwe told me that – gee, I know lots of people from lots of places). While the author may have found it clever, I did not, I found it somewhat confusing and annoying to read, and in the end I simply skipped over the names, denoting them as this one or that one. Other than that, I can't say much more, and if you haven't read it yet and want to, well, it goes for $30.00 US on Amazon. ( )
  David.Alfred.Sarkies | Jan 30, 2014 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2144332.html

This New Adventure is an obvious tribute to Iain M. Banks: the People of the title are very similar to the Culture, a post-scarcity interstellar society with intelligent drone robots and spaceships. Banks himself had mixed feelings about the show. In 2008 he wrote that "some of the Doctor Who episodes over the last few years have been amongst the best SF ever to appear on TV or film and may well prove much more influential than anything I've ever written", but by the time of his last interview he had "fallen out of love" with it. Banks fans who are at least vaguely acquainted with Who will enjoy Aaronovitch's adaptation of the Culture to the Whoniverse; for Who fans, who are of course the primary audience, it's one more well-realised alien culture, with a bit more depth to it than is the norm.

Apart from the audacity of the setting, it's quite a good story. The Doctor and friends (two of his current companions being their time's equivalent of police officers) are asked to investigate the mysterious murder of a drone, and work through the suspects despite various distractions. Roz in particular gets some very good character development time, which she hadn't really had much in her previous five books. I was less happy about the sub-plot involving the Brigadier's descendant Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart and Bernice; the Seventh Doctor as manipulator doesn't always work for me. But it's a small element of an enjoyable whole. ( )
1 stem nwhyte | Jul 20, 2013 |
This is the best Culture novel ever written. In part because it wasn't written by Ian Banks, the author of the Culture novels. Aaronovitch stole the setting (bought it off the back of a lorrey, no questions asked, in his words). Instead of being some big grand "lit-ra-ture" exploration of degradation and decay, this is a fun little detective story that shows the day to day living of Joe Culturenik.

I recommend it, if you can find a copy ( )
1 stem _mark_atwood | Jan 18, 2007 |
In many ways, the best book written about the Culture (Iain M Banks), even if not officially. The Doctor arrives in a civilisation known as the People, who are so powerful they have a non-aggression treaty with the Time Lords. However, all is not good in this apparently utopian society. ( )
  pauliharman | Jan 11, 2007 |
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The Doctor has taken his companions to parad ise, or at least the closest thing he can find. A sun enclos ed by an artificial sphere where there is no want, poverty o r violence. But their peace is shattered by murder. '

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