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Discuss "Shada" by Douglas Adams & Gareth Roberts

For this Meetup, the subgenre of literature we'll be looking at will be the media spinoff: the book inspired by a movie or TV show.

The TV show in this case is Doctor Who, the British sci-fi series that's been going, off and on, for 50 years this month. (Well, it was either this or "Gorilla Beach" by Snooki of Jersey Shore.)

The primary author is Douglas Adams, who was script editor for Doctor Who at the same time that he'd launched the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" world of radio, TV and novel series. This novel is an adaptation of an Adams-penned episode of Doctor Who, in 1979; about a third of it was actually filmed before technician's strikes at the BBC wound up cancelling the production. From Amazon:

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Imagine how dangerous a LOT of knowledge is...

The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University, where among the other doddering old professors nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. He took with him a few little souvenirs--harmless things really. But among them, carelessly, he took The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. Even more carelessly, he has loaned this immensely powerful book to clueless graduate student Chris Parsons, who intends to use it to impress girls. The Worshipful and Ancient Law is among the most dangerous artifacts in the universe; it cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.

The hands of the sinister Time Lord Skagra are unquestionably the wrongest ones possible. Skagra is a sadist and an egomaniac, bent on universal domination. Having misguessed the state of fashion on Earth, he also wears terrible platform shoes. He is on his way to Cambridge. He wants the book. And he wants the Doctor... "

Now, the actual adaptation was done by Gareth Roberts, who's one of the script writers for the current version of the series. It'll be an interesting question for the reader: has he managed to capture the overall "flavor" and tone of Douglas Adams' prose?

The Ottawa Public Library has 12 copies of the book, and it's available in e-versions as well.

UPDATE (31 Oct 2013): due to popular demand, the venue for this meeting has been changed to the Clock Tower branch at 575 Bank Street, near the northern part of the Glebe.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    This was a wonderful introduction to the group. Thank you all for the interesting company.

    November 29, 2013

  • Sheila

    Wonderful discussion. Wonderful group. Thanks Victor!

    November 29, 2013

  • Michael B.

    Apologies for the last minute bail out. See you at Sheila's in December! :)

    November 28, 2013

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