Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The most peculiar octopus he had ever come across*

OK, I managed a month without reading a Star Trek book, so it's back to normal now. 

* A most peculiar octopus
 25. The Magic Bubble-Pipe, by Stella Farris

  I bought this for my niece, Babyzilla, either for this coming Christmas, or for her third birthday at the end of April 2016. However, I couldn't withhold the excitement and caved, giving it to her almost as soon as I saw her.  It took all my (and Indescribable's) powers of persuasion to convince Babyzilla not to rip the pop-up bits out of the book once she opened it!

 The excitement stems from this being a book I remember fondly from my childhood, and one of only a few of which I can remember a name or title of. I was talking to my sister Indescribable (Babyzilla's mum) last month about books we had read long ago in our youth, and this one came up in conversation as something ideal for Babyzilla. We decided that now she's two years old, she might appreciate it (although I think she'd appreciate it more if she was allowed to rip it to shreds).

 The book is about a boy who is given a magic bubble pipe that shows him amazing aquatic creatures in the giant bubbles he blows. It turns out the pipe was once owned by a sailor who saw all these creatures for real, and at the end of the book, the boy meets the sailor as he also appears in one of the bubbles.

 26. Armageddon's Arrow (Star Trek: The Next Generation), by Dayton Ward

 I really liked this book - The interactions & relationships (Chen-Taurik, Chen-Konya, Worf-Elfiki, Geordi-Harstad); the exploration of what happens when a race/races discovers alien tech known to the Federation; the world-building; the non-evil alien leaders/representatives; and the mystery (please, please, please let there be a Taurik/DTI follow-up very soon!). The characterisation was all top notch - I especially loved the mature, restrained Worf. Oh, and the appearance of Siouxsie from the 2011 Ships of the Line calendar was a treat!

  A couple of things prevented me from rating this outstanding - I found there was a little too much explanation of past events. Some of it was necessary, but I got the impression that the rest was tacked on (at an editors request, maybe?). The general resolution was predictable-and there's nothing wrong with that-but I think it could have been more interesting if certain people had survived because technology hadn't crapped out just like it always seems to in these circumstances.

  Over all, I think this is a fantastic novel, and would be a great picking up point for anyone new to Trek Lit that doesn't want to (or hasn't the time to) wade through years worth of previous storylines/arcs (Destiny, Typhon Pact, The Fall etc). Bravo Dayton Ward!

 27. Johnny and the Dead, by Terry Pratchett

 Once I'd finished Armageddon's Arrow (on Kindle), I wanted an easy read that I could go through in breaks at work. I plucked this book off my shelf as it's one I've read before two or three times and really enjoyed.

 It's about a boy (Johnny) who can see the dead (they're adamant that they're not ghosts), who unwittingly helps them "move on" while he's trying to save the cemetery they're buried in from being built on.

 28. Calvin and Hobbes: The Revenge of the Baby-Sat, by Bill Watterson

 Ah, Calvin & Hobbes! How I miss you.

 29. Grinny, by William Fisk

 This book scared me silly when I first read it as a child and it's still creepy and disturbing today. It centres around a family whose Great Aunt Emma (or Grinny, as she's nicknamed by the daughter) turns up out of the blue to stay with them. The thing is, the mother and father have no clue who she is until GAE says the phrase "You remember me!", and then it's as if a recognition switched is flipped. The two children Tim and Beth, and their friend Mac, quickly discover Grinny's horrifying secret and set about ridding their family of Grinny in the hope of saving the world.



  1. Grinny!!! I so want to read that again!! Actually I didn't read it the first time round, it was read to us in school... and something about it stuck in my mind... it was a scary one.

    And YES, your new Blogger settings have worked :-)

  2. For a children's book, Grinny is indeed scary, Ms Scarlet. I think it's scarier reading it as an adult, though - my imagination fills in a lot of the small gaps with rather too familiar details.


    Hooray for the new settings! Thank you for your invaluable insight and research into it.

  3. I'm liking The Magic Bubble-Pipe octopus!

    PS: What a thoughtful uncle(s) Babyzilla has!

  4. my word, sweetpea! i looked for "The Magic Bubble-Pipe, by Stella Farris" on amazon and barnes & noble. it seems to be only available from "third party sellers" and the price ranges from 38 to 68 dollars! wowie zowie! xoxox

  5. LX: Yes, its quite a magnificent beast, isn't it.

    Savvy: Oh, I know! I searched high and low and the cheapest I could find it was £10 (about $15, I think?), but most were £20-£30. Needless to say, I plumped for the cheap one (I'm not that thoughtful, LX!) and, luckily, wasn't disappointed.

  6. Ooo....I think I will be looking for Grinny for my kindle.

    Thanks for that.

  7. Anonymous11/6/15 19:58

    Oh the poor baby sitter girl ... I think at one point they shut her out. And Dad had to pay some extra.

  8. Keep an eye out for Trillions (also by Nicholas Fisk) too Roses.

    Mago: Yeah, Calvin & Hobbes certainly do put Rosalyn through the wringer. However, she always seems to vanquish them!


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?