Fallen Gods.

Books Back when I was visiting north west regional art collections, I eventually had to commute to the Lake District for three days to cover the remotest venues in the cheapest was possible. Reading the Telos Publishing novella Fallen Gods was this mission's equivalent of that. So rare is it that I spent today in the special collections room of an academic library bing reading through it, unable to justify spending the £50 it otherwise costs second hand on Amazon.  In keeping with other titles during the Wilderness years, it's a litfic experiment, in which the locale dictates the format.  Set during the Minoan age (although also implied to be a pocket universe), it's aesthetically like a Victorian translation of Ovid or Virgil, ignoring more accessible punctuation (not a speech mark in sight) and language in favour of allusive poetry which challenges the concentration of the reader [the old BBC website has an extract].  At first, the underlying story is pretty simplistic in structure, giant fiery monsters from the sky, the Doctor educating a local with the necessary skills to fight the thing.  But everything becomes gradually darker and although the the Eighth Doctor is present and correct, as it should be given the authors are Jon Blum and Kate Orman of EDA fame (not least when he's entertaining the surfs singing Yellow Submarine), his actions becoming increasingly questionable if understandable in the circumstances.  Thematically, we're in the area of how we should react when we learn that lifestyle within which we've become accustomed is as a result of the misery of others and how so often it's with a shrug.  Honestly, it's also a book which requires multiple reads in order get the full experience, which is the diplomatic way of me saying that I found it a bit of a slog.  Which I just have anyway.  Placement: The Doctor says he has companions waiting for him in the TARDIS (in a roundabout way) and seems to have all of his memories.  But he also refers to only having one heart so it seems like it has to be set after The Gallifrey Chronicles.  Update 29/6/2020: He got his heart back in Camera Obscura, so shrug.  Perhaps he's just having a lucid moment.

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