Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fairytale, Doctor-style

Recently I read the first instalment of Doctor Who: A Fairy Tale Life, courtesy of the review copy system at NetGalley.

This selection was driven by my curiosity on two fronts:
1. I'm a fan of the Doctor Who TV series, and I wonder about the other aspects of fandom so many others engage in.
2. I wanted to try out the possibility of reading a comic book on my ereader.

It turns out that navigating a comic book on my Sony Reader is entirely possible. Once I opened the file (Adobe PDF format), the ereader presented an interface heretofore unseen by me. I've read novels in PDF and somehow the text is magically reflowed to accommodate my screen settings. In this case, the page dimensions and comic panels are, sensibly, preserved, but I'm able to zoom in and out and scroll up, down and side to side, much like when you read a PDF on your computer screen. The resolution is surprisingly good.

But the navigation quickly becomes tedious, and sadly, my ereader does not support colour, so I found myself flipping from ereader to laptop to appreciate the colour and to make sure I didn't miss any frames and was following them in the right order. So it's not exactly an immersive experience the way other ebooks are, or as is a printed graphic novel in hand.

As for the story, the Doctor and Amy travel to the year 7704 on the planet Caligaris Epsilon Six, a holiday world engineered to look and act exactly like a medieval fantasy. But the tourist industry isn't operating the way one would expect it to, and there are signs of biological contamination. Uh-oh.

Of course now I need to know what happens next. I will be ordering the collected subsequent instalments.

Do you read comic books or graphic novels on your ereader? Any tips for me?

Do you dare confess? Do you read novel or comic book spin-offs of science fiction or other franchises?


Julia said...

I don't qualify to answer any of your questions, but I can't resist recommending my favorite science-fiction author, Stanislaw Lem. He wrote Star Diaries and The Cyberiad--he has a humorous approach in these. His more serious novel Solaris was made into a movie with George Clooney; not nearly as much fun as the other two books.

Isabella K said...

Oh, I love Lem! I've read Solaris and a couple others, but not the 2 you mention. I guess I've seen Lem's serious side; I find it very demanding but rewarding reading. The Cyberiad keeps cropping up around me lately -- I guess I should take that as a sign.

Anonymous said...

Stanislaw lem is well-worth the effort. I have read 'The Futurological Congress' and 'Tales of Pirx the Pilot'. I once heard Phillip k. dick Tried to get stanislaw Lem banned in america, or some such thing, on the basis that he was a committee of soviet writers trying to infilitrate american sc-fi. or maybe Mr dick just likes to play games.

Isabella K said...

Yes, Mr Dick sure loved a conspiracy theory (or maybe he was just a dick).

You might find Lem's Imaginary Magnitudes interesting -- reviews of nonexistent books. I've read portions of it but then set it aside, thinking I'd read it in tandem with Bolano's Nazi Lit (which you mentioned in a comment to another post).

Isabella K said...

Whoops, actually it's A Perfect Vacuum I was thinking of. Imaginary Magnitudes was a volume of AI-generated introductions to nonexistent books -- an interesting exercise, but from what I'd sampled, A Perfect Vacuum (reviews of nonexistent books) is much more readable and more obviously satirical.

Anonymous said...

Are 'Imaginary Magnitude' and 'A Perfect Volume' both by Lem. Lem is a rarity in sheffield bookstores. I try to avoid using amazon, because it just means I order so many books I get overwhelmed and read about 1% of them, and the rest get left in my anti-library. I usually have a mental list of rarely seen books that I want, and if I come across any in a bookstore I purchase it; if I really, really want it, I'll go out and buy it new. Lem is always someone I'll purchase, if i come across him.

Isabella K said...

Yes, HomingBohm, they're both Lem titles. I don't think it's easy to find Lem in bookstores anywhere. I have borrowed a couple Lem titles from the library, found one in a bookstore, and ordered one from Amazon.

All this Lem love warms my Polish heart.

Stefanie said...

I've not tried reading a comic or graphic novel on my Kindle. Trying to read a magazine was a bad enough experience. I had a bunch of Star Wars comics when I was a kid. Does that count? My husband has read a couple of the Star Trek books since some of them were written by scifi "names."

Isabella K said...

Yes, Stefanie, those comics count -- it gives you geek cred. I totally understand where your husband is coming from; I'm currently trying to rationalize my interest in checking out a particular Dr Who novel because it's written by a high-profile SF author. But I think we all know we're kidding ourselves.