Doctor Who Review – 7.08, The Rings of Akhaten

Angry Sun God vs The Doctor

A little later than scheduled, our reviewer James Willets is here to pick over the bones of one of New Who’s most divisive episodes in ages.

There was a point about halfway through ‘Rings’ when I thought (realised?) that this was going to be one of my favourite episodes for a long time. After journeying to an intergalactic version of Camden Lock and rescuing this week’s plot-relevant moppet, we got a sequence so wonderfully constructed and unusual, it made me realise how rarely we get to see something different in Doctor Who.

This was the first episode in years that felt truly alien. For all its sci-fi trappings, Doctor Who can often feel like a trip though other programmes the BBC does – lashings of period drama, becostumed thespians and CGI Macguffinery and very little in the way of actual world building.

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Author Discussion: Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne JonesJoin us for a spirited discussion of one of our favourite fantasy authors – the late, great Diana Wynne Jones!

Author of Howl’s Moving Castle, Archer’s Goon and the Chrestomanci series, among many others, Diana was described by Neil Gaiman as “…the best writer of magic there is, for readers of any age.” But, after so much success, why isn’t she a household name? What is her place in today’s crowded YA fiction market?  And just how much of her difficult childhood is evident in her stories? Our panel of intrepid fantasy fans set out to answer these and other questions on their whistle-stop tour of her life and works.



How's Moving Castle

Is Peter seeing things, or are there bits of the Welsh dragon in there?

Interview: Philip Reeve – author of Mortal Engines, Larklight, Goblins and more!

Philip Reeve - a thoroughly nice chap

Philip Reeve – the nicest man in sci-fi

To celebrate our makeover, we’re very pleased to bring you an interview with multiple award winning author, Philip Reeve. Philip is the author of some of the finest YA sci-fi and fantasy literature on the market, including the magnificent Mortal Engines quartet, the Larklight trilogy, Here Lies Arthur and his new comic fantasy, Goblins.We’re big fans of Philip’s work, so it was a real treat to speak to him in-depth about the books and films that insprire his stories, his writing process, and why the current trend for dystopian fiction might be leading us down the wrong path. He also had a lot to say about the subject of Steampunk and why Doctor Who needs a bit of a rethink!



Five Comics You Should Read

It’s all fun and games until someone calls the Homicide Crabs

As the nation goes Dark Knight crazy once again, regular columnist Olivia Cottrell offers up some tantalising alternatives for those of you looking for more than just men in tights…

So, you like comic books, do you? Or maybe you’ve seen the big Marvel movies, or the Nolan Batman, and you want to get into the genre proper but don’t know where to start. Well, here are my top five comic books of all time: each one perfectly acceptable as a series on its own, but each, I hope, a great example of what the medium can offer in superheroes and beyond. There’s dinosaurs, cowboys, explosions and crime, serious comics and comics that will make you laugh your head off. They also probably say far more about me and my tastes than I intended.

Well, never mind. Onwards!
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Colin Baker Q&A – SFX Weekender 2012

“I have been asked if I want to do a 2013 multi-Doctor special…”

The sixth Doctor speaks! One of the stars at this year’s SFX Weekender convention, Colin took the opportunity to hold forth on his four decades in show business and spill the beans on his greatest televisual triumph… Come Dine With Me.

He also gives a frank assessment of Doctor Who past and present as well as sharing some really excellent advice for budding actors everywhere. It was a presidential performance and one not to be missed!


"Rayguns and Rocket Ships" – Can Books Save Space Opera?

When you think of sci-fi, the chances are you’re thinking of Space Opera. But as television turns its back on tales of “shooty-death-kill in space”, will the sub-genre continue to thrive on the printed page?

A stunning line-up of top sci-fi authors assembled at the recent SFX Weekender to confront this very question. Paul McAuley, Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, Dan Abnett, Jaine Fenn, Mike Cobley and Aaron Dembski-Bowden reviewed the current state of literary science fiction and raised some tantalising questions of their own. Have the harsh realities of modern life killed our dreams of exploration? Does it still count as Space Opera if the story’s set on Earth? And just what the frack is Space Opera anyway? All this and more, in the latest Impossible Podcast!