Twice Upon a Time Review

So that’s the Moffat era. There’s a very small number of stories we might compare this to, and most of them are unenlightening. Understood as a multi-Doctor story, it is simply perplexing. As a regeneration story, it’s similarly perplexing, but at least Time of the Doctor (and I suppose technically The Tenth Planet) provides a vague point of comparison. Which leaves The End of Time, the series’ sole other example of a Christmas special showrunner/Doctor send-off. Here to, Twice Upon a Time looks odd, but at least the contrast is consistent. Davies talks in The Writer’s Tale about his discarded initial plan for Tennant’s regeneration, which was to do a self-consciously small episode with none of the epic grandeur you’d expect. And so Moffat, finding himself with an extra episode after the bombast of World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, takes up Davies’s discarded idea for a story in which the Doctor waits around to die and there’s no actual villain.

On one level, this confirms that Davies had a good idea there. Going small in regeneration stories works, as Time of the Doctor (which I’ll defend to the bitter end) demonstrates. Yes, it only works if there ...

End of Year Update

No proper post today. I've had an incredibly trying few weeks, I'm feeling rather drained and uninspired and nothing really came up to come together. So instead I'm using my last column of 2017 to take stock of the past year for me at Eruditorum Press and begin to sketch out the year ahead.
I began with The Elder Scrolls and Nintendo and ended with The Elder Scrolls and Nintendo (well, technically I began with the Star Trek: The Next Generation comic “The Truth Elusive”, but the audience for 20 year old Star Trek tie-in comics can be charitably described as a niche demographic). Along the way, I moored the blog project I've been working on every week since 2013, Vaka Rangi, reached the climax of my unexpected series on The Legend of Zelda and went crazy with what once was a humble thought experiment to write about Garfield. I wrote about Shin Gojira a year late, creeped everyone out talking about Natasha Henstridge and Species, pissed everyone off talking about Sailor Moon and annoyed everyone defaulting onto my old game journalism habits between jobs. And my favourite band came back to see out the ...

The Annual Eruditorum Press Post-Holiday Ebook Sale

It's Boxing Day, which means it's time for me to put a bunch of ebooks on sale at Smashwords. In all cases, just apply the coupon code at checkout to get your discount. All sales run through New Year's. 

We'll start with the marquee sale, which is not so much a sale as a giveaway. Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons, my anthology on science fiction and fascism, is available for free. You can get that with the coupon code SG29J.

I've also got my brand new book on the alt-right, Neoreaction a Basilisk, on a modest sale of $3.99 with the coupon code FB25Q.

Next up, both of my books on comics are available for $2.99. That means both Volume 1 of The Last War in Albion, my history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and A Golden Thread, my history of Wonder Woman. 

The Last War in Albion Volume 1: TF24X

A Golden Thread: GT47P

And finally, our bread and butter, the TARDIS Eruditorum series, my critical history of Doctor Who, is all on sale for 50% off, reducing the price of each book to $2 ...

The Proverbs of Hell 30/39: Aperitivo

Check back tomorrow for the annual Eruditorum Press ebook sale, and Wednesday (probably later in the day) for my Twice Upon a Time review.

APERITIVO: The Italian equivalent of the apéritif, i.e. a before dinner drink. Eagle-eyed readers may note that this is the fourth episode of the season. The joke (and it’s a solid one) is that we’ve finally flashed back to answering what actually happened in the wake of “Mizumono,” and so this is the chronological first episode of the season. Hannibal - for all your highbrow narrative/Italian menu structure gags.

MASON VERGER: Are you wearing makeup? How long does it take you to put on your face in the morning?

DR. CHILTON: Now that I've got the routine down, no time at all.

MASON VERGER: Tell you what. You show me yours and I'll show you mine.

There is something trolling about revealing Chilton’s fate from “Yakimono” before getting to Alana. Unfortunately, taken in the context of the general problems Alana has as a character, it feels vaguely mean-spirited, with Alanna being treated as an object of peril in a way that Will, Jack, and Abigail were not. Still, reintroducing Chilton opposite Mason ...

Chill Out, Hayek! - Part 2

Part One here.

Also, don't forget you can now buy Phil's new book Neoreaction a Basilsik (featuring a chapter I contributed to) on Kindle and in dead tree format (Amazon US, Amazon UK).  It's a more enjoyable read than Hayek.  Fucking trust me on this.


Hayek’s position on Chile, and on reactionary authoritarianism generally, is the dollfussian logic of Mises working itself out, i.e. the Left makes a kind of temporary recuperative fascism necessary.  Mises developed this view when collaborating with the anti-Nazi and anti-Communist 'Austro-fascist' Dollfuss.

None of the assumptions are especially non-mainstream – which tells us something terrifying about the mainstream – but Hayek synthesises them, accepts their implications in a principled (yes, in his own vile way he is principled) and non-opportunistic way, and takes them to their logical conclusions.  If liberty is threatened by democracy leading to socialism leading to totalitarianism (Nazism being socialism too according to Dollfuss and Mises et al – another argument we still live with) then you need authoritarianism to quash democracy when it goes too far.  We’ve already seen Hayek adapting the ideas of (ironically) Carl Schmitt to this end.  And Hayek is employing ...

Rule of the Jungle Ashcan 1: Solstice

The following is a brainstorming experiment for a potential new project I'm considering that I've tentatively decided to call “Rule of the Jungle”. This is not the “Surprise Book” that will become my main blogging project here this coming spring, but it could potentially run alongside it depending on whether certain factors come into play for me. Since this essay may or may not go into the final book, which may or may not actually happen, that's why I'm calling it an “ashcan preview” of sorts. Or maybe it's a “vertical slice” of themes and concepts I might be interested in playing with in the finished product. It was inspired by things I always think about at this time of year and interests I've always had and I've got a rough path to an outline at least, so we'll see where this goes.
Everything nature does is a circle. The heavens dance around themselves.
The stars and their planets are round, and we visualize their circular orbits and rotations as the passage of time. Seasons change, and the sun rises and sets. Even life and death are part of this ...

The Proverbs of Hell 29/36: Secondo

SECONDO: The heavier of the two main courses, typically meat-based. This is in no way a heavier or more substantive episode than “Primavera,” so do what you want with that.

BEDELIA DU MAURIER: Forgiveness is too great and difficult for one person. It requires two: betrayer and betrayed. Which one are you?

HANNIBAL: I’m vague on those details.

BEDELIA DU MAURIER: Betrayal and forgiveness are best seen as something more akin to falling in love.

HANNIBAL: You cannot control with respect to whom you fall in love.

Bedelia is recapitulating Bella with her account of forgiveness. Hannibal does not notice this, which speaks to his overall state: Hannibal is sullen, withdrawn, and even pouty here - his “I’m vague on those details” feels like an admission of weakness unlike anything we’ve really seen from him before. It is not quite an admission of regret for “Mizumono,” but there is a clear sense that Hannibal feels as though his response was in some way disproportionate or rash.

BEDELIA DU MAURIER: You're going to get caught. It's already been set into motion.

Bedelia glimpses the Aristotlean unities underpinning Hannibal’s reality.

Every season of Hannibal has an early episode that ...

WWA Footnote #4 (Daniel and Jack): Writing About the Right

So, as you might be aware, Phil’s new book Neoreaction a Basilisk is for sale in various formats, available from all good evil corporations that treat their employees like slaves:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

And in EPUB form at Smashwords.

I was proud to contribute something to one of the new essays in the book, the one about the Austrian school, entitled ‘No Law for the Lions and Many Laws for the Oxen is Liberty’. I’ve recently been publishing off-cuts from what I wrote for that essay here at this site, and will continue to do so.  If only because they fill up Fridays.

Today, however, you’re getting a podcast featuring me chatting with Daniel Harper.

It’s another Wrong With Authority Footnote, and in it Daniel and I chat about the Right, and about the fact that both of us have been researching them and writing about them recently – Daniel for a forthcoming project he’s cooking up which will be brilliant when it finally lands. I, of course, talk a bit about the Austrians essay for Neoreaction a Basilisk already mentioned.

Download here.

By the way, my Patreon sponsors got this ages ago.  They’re also getting my ...

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