Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"For most people hindsight only works backwards"

The most ridiculous thing I read this summer was a Doctor Who book. And it wasn't even a "proper" Doctor Who book. The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery.

It's written by Justin Richards channelling Melody Malone, who wrote the pulp mystery novel the Doctor was reading in "The Angels Take Manhattan," and Melody Malone turns out to be the pen name of River Song, back in time. It's not actually the same novel that was worked into the plot of that episode, but it's all River à la femme fatale.
Evening was drawing in and the cars had their lights on, cutting through the inevitable rain. I watched the drops paint clear lines down the grubby cab windows. We drove in binary fashion — either stop or go. Go was fast, and stop was sudden. The journey was punctuated by a liberal use of the horn, presumably to make up for the complete avoidance of the indicator lights.

Finally the cab drew up at the kerb with a jerk. The jerk stayed behind the steering wheel as I eased myself out.

"You need a ride later?" he asked, apparently serious.

I found the exact fare and told him: "Oh, I hope not." If he wanted a tip, then I was ready with: "Stop for red lights."

It's a short book, short for a novella even, and it's not exactly big on plot, though there is one. It makes up for all that in attitude.

It made me laugh — and I was guffawing loudly at its awful punniness more than chuckling lightly at its charming wit.

Much of the humour is pretty sexy, "buttoned and unbuttoned in the best places and pointing in the right direction." Nothing I wouldn't let my 10-year-old read, but the flirtation would be entirely lost on her. Too much River. Not enough Cybermen, or Daleks, or Weeping Angels. Hell, the Doctor's not even in it. The kid would be bored to tears.

I, on the other hand, am old enough to know better. I love the Doctor and science fiction, River and noir. And it's easy, and thrilling, to imagine this story being purred to you in the voice of River Song herself.

Ridiculous, but such fun!

Have you read anything embarrassing lately?

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