Anyone else been seeing Comet Lovejoy? It's much better than ISON, though still just a fuzzy blur with a fuzzy blur tail, if you look with binoculars. It has the advantage of being visible in morning and evening skies right now though.
Watched Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
tonight, which was mostly depressing. I thought it was going to be about female friendship, but it was mostly about women suffering horribly (occasionally for each other), and not a lot of women getting to be friends. Always nice to see Bingbing Li and Vivian Wu anyway, though random Hugh Jackman was random.
Now, Doctor Who
: From "Seasons of Fear:"
Doctor: So if I hadn't tried to stop him killing me, he wouldn't want to kill me?
Doctor: If you think about things like that and travel through time, Charley, you'll turn your brain into a spiral staircase, and I've heard of people who've vanished up staircases like that. Zagreus sits inside your head./Zagreus lives among the dead./Zegraus sees you in your bed/And eats you when you're sleeping.
As Mum used to say.
Hadn't remembered that coming in so early. Also "Seasons of Fear" is by Paul Cornell and Caroline Symcox (a rare woman on the field, pity she's gone into the church and apparently stopped writing for Who, though she is writing about the church
Listened to "Embrace the Darkness" today, which was fine. Another straight forward adventure story, that probably wasn't as scary as it was trying to be, and had what I felt was slightly shaky Charley characterisation (she's been bouncing around time and space for ten episodes, and suddenly now she's finding all the tech surprising). I sometimes feel as though an hour and twenty minutes is rather too long for a standard adventure plot. This could easily have been half the length, and have longer episodes saved for arc plots or bigger stories. I like 20-minute stories too though, so maybe I'm just too young for this kind of thing.
Finally bloody finished The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
. I almost didn't finish it but I kept reading because I couldn't believe the author was doing what I thought he was doing. He was.
I guess I don't understand the point of this book, he's changed history just enough to get a few more years out of Lincoln, but explicitly made sure that made no difference whatsoever to anything. The impeachment happens almost the same way as it did with Andrew Johnson, with exactly the same players, nothing's changed about Reconstruction, and then he copped out on the ending be refusing to commit to Lincoln getting anything done or not (he also offed Mary Todd Lincoln pre-story, one assumes because he didn't want to deal with her). At the end, he explicitly has a character say that individuals living or dying makes no difference to the greater flow of history, which leaves me wondering what the point was.
Another reviewer asked why not just set it during the Johnson impeachment trial, which is easy enough to answer. He wanted his heroine at least arguably on the side of the angels, and that wouldn't have been possible were she defending Johnson. Also, having Lincoln on the cover makes a book sell rather better than Andy Johnson (about whom few have heard and fewer still care).
I did like the main character, and the look into Washington society at the time, that was the best part of the book. The actual plot was predictable (called the identities of the spy, the double agent and the secret agent way early), and the romance was utterly without chemistry. The author made his main character so much better than everyone else, that I really had no idea what she saw in the dude she was supposed to be falling for.
All in all, a waste of time.
Sent the 1812 book back to the library, and finally got to start Sorrow's Knot
, which has so far been excellent.