Venusian Lullaby

Title: Venusian Lullaby
Author: Paul Leonard
Genre: SF, Tie-In
Series: Doctor Who Missing Adventures
Copyright: 1994
Ranking: ?Unranked
Binding: paperback
LibraryThing: Title:Venusian Lullaby WorkId 687386
Type: Owned
Read: 1994

This is the one Doctor Who novel I would lend to non-fans. It is a cracking good SF novel in its own right; the fact that some of the characters are The Doctor and his companions is almost incidental. Now it may be the fact that it's a 1st-Doctor Missing Adventure novel that makes me take this stand, since I've seen hardly anything of the First Doctor, so I'm less able to judge if the characters are in character or not. But then neither am I biased in favour of it because I might like those particular characters well in another context.


Action-packed, but not (too) contrived. The three main characters get separated very early on, and things keep escalating. Take Ian, for example. First he's kidnapped by crackpots, escapes from a land-yaught, is burned in a petrol forest, is rescued by a kindly bud-mother, only to be attacked by Death Inspectors... Cliff-hangers enough for any typical Doctor Who plot.


The Venusians are great. Ian and Barbara are three dimensional, and the Doctor seems to be in character too. I think my favourite characters would be Podsighil (the embarrassing won't-shut-up little-kid-brother of a Venusian) and Vivokjhil (the young Venusian who does brave things she didn't think she could).


Pictures painted clearly. Also some fun reversals of cliche's, such as Venusians being afraid of the humans because they're ugly aliens. Points of view mostly from Barbara and Ian and various Venusians, which enables one of my favourite things in SF: the familiar made strange, and the strange made familiar. Perhaps some of the Venusian names were a bit much to get the tongue around, but at least none of them have X or Z in them...


The aliens are nicely alien, while at the same time being understandable and sympathetic. There has been a lot of thought in the construction of their society, consequences extrapolated and shown in the details. For example, Venusian technology is mostly organic. So what do they do for photographs? Fast-growing moss, and poison for fixative. But the author reveals these things gradually, in passing, dropping hints and then following them up later, when the reader then goes "Oh! Was that why they did that?"

Sid & Nancy Scale: Thai food