I’m surrounded by books at the moment. I’ve got a Sturgeon book sitting on my ‘to be read’ pile and right underneath that there is a Harlan Ellison short story collection. I’m working my way (backwards!) through the last omnibus of Doc Savage adventures. I started with the two ‘afterwards’ and then read Doc’s final adventure, Up From The Earth’s Centre.

And to be honest I was disappointed. It didn’t read like a Doc novel, and Doc behaved a lot differently than in other novels. The other two novels I read in the omnibus are the same; Doc is out of character. And to be frank they are very short, a lot closer to novellas or novelettes than novels, with a couple of them coming in under one hundred pages. The afterword by Will Murray mentions the last editor of Doc Savage magazine and how a lot of changes were asked for and implemented. They were changes too far in my opinion. However it seems that it wasn’t sales that saw off Doc in the end but the Publisher’s decision to get out of pulp magazines; sales of Doc Savage (Science detective) were still quite good.

I bought Foster’s Scottish Oddities as an impulse purchase on Amazon after reading extracts in a daily newspaper during the week. There are some hilarious facts in it and some great stories, one that had me rolling about was the one about someone reporting to the police the fact that there was a live shark thrashing about in a Glasgow street. Only in Glasgow. It’s a good book to dip in and out of and also for reading chunks at a time as it is divided into relevant sections.

Also I got a pretty good three for two at Waterstone’s; two short story collections and a novel with a free book attached. It’s very rare for short story collections to be seen in book shops outside the SF section. So I snapped them up. So, four for two actually, and they were all at the cheap price of £6.99 – a price which is getting a bit scarce in bookshops.

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