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Bloody hell. I go for one brief walk down the Holy Dog-leg (from… - W.A.S.T.E

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December 19th, 2004


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06:12 pm
Bloody hell. I go for one brief walk down the Holy Dog-leg (from Tottenham Court Road station over to Denmark Street for the music stores, down Charing Cross Road for the bookstores, to Cambridge Circus for Orcs Nest, and then up Shaftesbury Avenue to Forbidden Planet), and I come home with twelve books, five gaming supplements, and a new set of guitar strings. Well, at least I meant to buy the strings.  :-)

Of those books: four lovely hardcovers from Gollancz' SF Masterworks line (Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, Larry Niven's Ringworld, John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids and Walter M. Miller Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz); four tiny softcover volumes from Penguin's clever Great Ideas series (Machiavelli's The Prince, Darwin's On Natural Selection, Marx & Engels' The Communist Manifesto, and Thom Paine's Common Sense); one Agatha Christie novel (The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first-ever Poirot book); and three newish volumes of the great BFI Modern Classics film-criticism series (Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, Withnail & I and... yes... Groundhog Day).

At least I can justify three of the gaming supplements on the grounds that they're British, and thus easier/cheaper to find here. (But the other two are from Texas, so... er... yeah.)

Other observations: there are sombre new "grown-up" editions of the first five Discworld books on the shelves (filed under "Fiction and Literature", mind you, not in the SF/Fantasy ghetto). They're actually not as nice inside as the regular UK versions: I'm not tempted. But it's funny to see them anyway, rather like the "adult" versions of the Harry Potter books.

In addition to SF/fantasy books, Forbidden Planet also sells comics, movies, games (a wider selection of US games than I've seen at any US game store), and... I kid you not... inflatable Daleks. I was afraid to look at the packaging any more closely, lest it should mention weight limits or washability or functional orifices or anything of the sort. Eeeegh.

Finally, the theatre: Christian Slater is in London, starring in a stage production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which doesn't really seem likely to alter my perception of him as an ersatz Jack Nicholson. And anyway, given my druthers, I'd much prefer to go see Bat Boy: The Musical, which is playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre. *snort*
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[User Picture]
From:z_gryphon
Date:December 19th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC)
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Aw, I want an inflatable Dalek!

And most of your new books, but, inflatable Dalek!

The "grown-up" covers offered on the Harry Potter books in the UK amuse me. They serve no purpose whatsoever other than to allow self-important adults to read the books on the tube without damaging their dignity - and the thing is, the Bloomsbury cover art on the regular editions is quite nice. They're lovely old-fashioned sort of Tom Swiftian covers, nothing at all like the hideous dust jackets on the US versions (which would embarrass me in a public setting).

(As an aside, if you do go to Shaftesbury, be sure to knock over a dustbin.)
[User Picture]
From:trystero
Date:December 19th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
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Aw, I want an inflatable Dalek!

EXTERMINFLATE! EXTERMINFLATE!
[User Picture]
From:timothy_tim
Date:December 19th, 2004 01:07 pm (UTC)
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Not inflatable like a love doll, right???

I am totally going to get Aleksei to bring some back from London on his next visit, and then inflate them and leave them waiting on my brother's front lawn, early some morning...

-T_Tim's mum
[User Picture]
From:fubar
Date:December 19th, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)
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Have you seen any of the Reduced Shakespeare Company shows? Worth it.
[User Picture]
From:trystero
Date:December 20th, 2004 03:17 am (UTC)
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I saw The Complete Works of Shakespeare in London, years and years ago, and then rediscovered it on video courtesy of kviri and frozencapybara. (I now have the DVD, surprise surprise.)
[User Picture]
From:fubar
Date:December 20th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC)
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One night a week, each, they run The Complete History of the United States (Unabridged) and The Bible (Abridged). Didn't get a chance to see either of them, though.
[User Picture]
From:mindways
Date:December 19th, 2004 05:37 pm (UTC)
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So, what were the gaming supplements? :)
[User Picture]
From:trystero
Date:December 20th, 2004 04:44 am (UTC)
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British (all fan publications for HeroQuest):
• The Shadows of Pavis (Tentacles Press)
• Wintertop Fair (Unspoken Word)
• Sons of Kargzant (Unspoken Word)

Texan:
• HeroQuest: Masters of Luck and Death (published by Issaries [California], distributed by Steve Jackson Games [Texas])
• GURPS Vikings (Steve Jackson Games)
[User Picture]
From:brainiac69
Date:December 20th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC)
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Huh, neat. How are the HeroQuest supplements?
[User Picture]
From:trystero
Date:December 20th, 2004 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Well, MoLaD is basically a big collection of warbands, so I got it mostly for PC/NPC ideas. Looks like fun, though I've only glanced at the first chapter so far.

I've barely even skimmed the other three books, but they look like the usual quasi-official-but-entertaining fan-publication stuff. My expectations are a little lower, but I'm perfectly willing to be surprised...
[User Picture]
From:motomuffin
Date:December 20th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC)
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Oooooh. *Love* _A Canticle for Leibowitz_. Have you read it?

It's one of those books I could talk about forever.
[User Picture]
From:trystero
Date:December 20th, 2004 03:40 pm (UTC)
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I've read it and read it and read it: my high-school calculus teacher (a former nun who was an extremely cool teacher) introduced me to it, and I've been hooked on it ever since. (I have never, however, had any interest in reading the so-called sequel.)

It's kind of a sad read, now, in the light of how Walter Miller Jr. ended up, but that doesn't lessen the worth of the book one bit for me.

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