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Big Finish B7 books
Ela
I'm considering buying some of the B7 books produced by Big Finish. Curious to know who here has read them. What do you like and not like and why? Where would you recommend I start?

Thanks in advance. Smile
 
Anniew
Yes I've read quite a few. archangel was quite good but I did find them rather similar. The anthology is interesting and readable. Criminal Intent is a good story but for me, they make Avon a bit too self centred and unlikeable. The writer doesn't get that devasting humour. Hope that helps.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
MockingbirdGirl
I find them merely OK. The stories themselves are entertaining enough, but I find the editing a bit slapdash, and some of the characterisations on the lazy side. In terms of Big Finish's B7 output, I'd put them a distant third after the Liberator Chronicles (at the top) and full-cast audios.

Disclaimer: I have not read the two Paul Darrow books. Once bitten (Avon, a Terrible Aspect), twice shy!
 
Travisina
I've read them all.

1. The Forgotten by Mark Wright & Cavan Scott is a good early Season 1 adventure that feels like a missing episode. In my review (yet to be reinstated on this website) I wrote:
It’s an ensemble adventure, similar in style to Seek-Locate-Destroy and Project Avalon Each of the crew has a role to play, with additional appearances from Servalan, Travis and Secretary Rontane. Some of the situations encountered in the story are typical Season 1 fare, such as the Liberator being flown into a nebula, Zen shutting down and Gan’s limiter malfunctioning. However, these familiar elements are woven into an original tale that works very well on its own merits and would have made a first class Season 1 episode.

2. Archangel by Scott Harrison is set during Season B, after the death of Gan. I particularly liked the writing and the way the novel was structured, with different styles used for flashbacks – some are told from the point of view of one character; some are spoken or telepathic dialogue and one is the transcript of a datacube recording.

3. Lucifer and Lucifer: Revelation by Paul Darrow - these are Rambo-esque PGP Adventures of Avon (with a prequel, Lucifer: Genesis due out next month). They're great fun and a glorious romp, but bear no resemblance to B7 - so if you're looking for canon and continuity, you won't find it here!

4. Review of Anthology

5. Review of Criminal Intent

My only real gripe - and this goes for all the books - is that I find the descriptions of violence way too graphic. I think that the novels should follow similar guidelines to the TV series, and have the violence level appropriate for a young audience (and sensitive adults).

The price of all the novels released so far, apart from Criminal Intent, has been reduced to £5 which is pretty good for an attractive hardback (the artwork on the covers is very nice indeed). You can also get Peter Anghelides' novelisation of Warship for £5, but that's eBook only.

Hope that's helpful, Ela!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Ela
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Yeah, the price reduction was why I'm looking at them now. The price on the reduced books is a bit more than £5 for people outside the UK and the shipping costs almost as much as the book. Still not a lot, though.

I'm considering.
 
Ela
Just thinking about this, don't know if I would get Lucifer, as I've already listened to the audiobook version.

I'm thinking I might rather spend my money right now on more Liberator Chronicles and/or series 2 of the audio adventures.
 
dragonq
MockingbirdGirl wrote:


Disclaimer: I have not read the two Paul Darrow books. Once bitten (Avon, a Terrible Aspect), twice shy!


Ditto. I was given a copy of Avon, a Terrible Aspect. It was without doubt one of the worst books I have ever read.
 
meegat39
dragonq wrote:

MockingbirdGirl wrote:


Disclaimer: I have not read the two Paul Darrow books. Once bitten (Avon, a Terrible Aspect), twice shy!


Ditto. I was given a copy of Avon, a Terrible Aspect. It was without doubt one of the worst books I have ever read.


In that case, you haven't read any TRULY bad books. For my part, if nothing else, I found it entertaining.
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
trevor travis
meegat39 wrote:

dragonq wrote:

MockingbirdGirl wrote:


Disclaimer: I have not read the two Paul Darrow books. Once bitten (Avon, a Terrible Aspect), twice shy!


Ditto. I was given a copy of Avon, a Terrible Aspect. It was without doubt one of the worst books I have ever read.


In that case, you haven't read any TRULY bad books. For my part, if nothing else, I found it entertaining.


Agree - like all Paul's books, it's a page turner.

Whether it's actually B7 or not is a different argument, but I wouldn't call it a bad book. For starters, I read it through from beginning to end. With a truly bad book, you wouldn't get that far.
 
dragonq
I seem to recall the book being referred to by friends at the time of publication as Avon, a Terrible Novel. And I have to confess I couldn't finish it.
 
Mistletoe12
I wholeheartedly agree with Meegat and Trevor Travis regarding Avon: A Terrible Aspect.

The prevailing snobbery surrounding PD's books is somewhat annoying and has on occasion crossed the line (in my opinion) between healthy critique and downright rudeness, particularly in regards to 'A Terrible Aspect.'

It isn't universally hated, just one example of the type of comment I have read in many places over the years.

I liked it, as do many others!

Oh, it has been a long time since I read Aspect, but read it I did and while its themes were certainly depressing, it is entertaining - I don't give a monkey's about the pseudo-science complaints. And just like TT, I read it from beginning to end with full admiration for Mr. Darrow’s writing style.

I have always liked his writing style; the same is true with the Lucifer Trilogy. I have the books and the audios ... will also buy Genesis on its release and hope BF will treat us to the audio in the near future.

There is real talent in PD’s writing; an ability to create original characters which I personally find engaging and a story which feels very much to me as though it could easily slot into the period following events on GP.

I don't want to inadvertently give away spoilers to those considering buying these thoroughly engaging books but I will add that what they (occasionally) lack in inner thought is more than made up for with interesting language and vividly described scenes.

In a nutshell, I suppose I'm saying don't always listen to negative comments ... who knows Avon better than his actor? I'm grateful we have these books and highly recommend purchasing them - how could you go wrong with a £5 price tag!

Indeed, I still have to buy Archangel, which I will be doing shortly in case those stocks start to dwindle.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed we will hear from BF regarding further B7 releases, including any literary contributions from Paul Darrow.
 
Ela
Well, I downloaded a sample of The Forgotten from Amazon for Kindles. Seems to get off to a good start. So, I'll probably buy it eventually. It's cheapest on the Big Finish website, for the physical book, though, and I like giving Big Finish my business. so I'll buy it there.

But first I have to spend some money on this weekend's Big Finish Doctor Who Lost Stories sale. Pfft
Just in time, too, as I just finished listening to all the B7 I bought in last month's sale (I got the whole bundle!). I'm thinking I need to re-watch B7 and then re-listen to those B7 audios. Listening, I realize I've forgotten some details of the TV stories. And the audios are place between TV episodes, more or less, so...

So time to go rip more of those DVD tracks to my computer so I can watch them region-free. Wink


I appreciate everyone's input on the books, so far. Keep it coming. Smile
 
meegat39
Mistletoe12 wrote:

I wholeheartedly agree with Meegat and Trevor Travis regarding Avon: A Terrible Aspect.

The prevailing snobbery surrounding PD's books is somewhat annoying and has on occasion crossed the line (in my opinion) between healthy critique and downright rudeness, particularly in regards to 'A Terrible Aspect.'

It isn't universally hated, just one example of the type of comment I have read in many places over the years.

I liked it, as do many others!

Oh, it has been a long time since I read Aspect, but read it I did and while its themes were certainly depressing, it is entertaining - I don't give a monkey's about the pseudo-science complaints. And just like TT, I read it from beginning to end with full admiration for Mr. Darrow’s writing style.

I have always liked his writing style; the same is true with the Lucifer Trilogy. I have the books and the audios ... will also buy Genesis on its release and hope BF will treat us to the audio in the near future.

There is real talent in PD’s writing; an ability to create original characters which I personally find engaging and a story which feels very much to me as though it could easily slot into the period following events on GP.

I don't want to inadvertently give away spoilers to those considering buying these thoroughly engaging books but I will add that what they (occasionally) lack in inner thought is more than made up for with interesting language and vividly described scenes.

In a nutshell, I suppose I'm saying don't always listen to negative comments ... who knows Avon better than his actor? I'm grateful we have these books and highly recommend purchasing them - how could you go wrong with a £5 price tag!

Indeed, I still have to buy Archangel, which I will be doing shortly in case those stocks start to dwindle.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed we will hear from BF regarding further B7 releases, including any literary contributions from Paul Darrow.


I have to agree with everything you say Mistletoe, and I have to say I get a bit annoyed when people's critical comments become too personal or rude. I agree about the snobbery too, just because the books aren't much like Blake's 7, it doesn't mean they aren't highly entertaining and good writing. I enjoyed Avon a terrible Aspect and was enthralled with the other two. If Big Finish are reading this, I would say keep 'em coming, I love books especially Blake's 7 books!
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
paulm
agree with that i always enjoy reading the B7 books
 
MockingbirdGirl
The prevailing snobbery surrounding PD's books is somewhat annoying

And sometimes, the 'prevailing snobbery' is 'I read his first book, I didn't think it was good, and life's too short to keep reading books by authors I don't like.' Which, frankly, is a completely legitimate position.

If someone read and disliked Stephen Fry's first book The Liar, would you call them 'snobs' for not wanting to delve into his later books? If I like William Shatner in Star Trek, am I also morally obligated to enjoy his literary efforts?






.
Edited by MockingbirdGirl on 25 April 2015 15:02:45
 
meegat39
I don't think that is what was meant. No one is calling you or anyone else a snob for not trying his other books. In my experience some fans can get very personal indeed when being critical of his work and this is when I take offence. I know the science is dodgy, but sometimes people (not meaning you) go too far with their comments.

Edited for spelling mistake
Edited by meegat39 on 26 April 2015 00:55:47
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
trevor travis
Paul's books always tend to be a contentious subject.

In the past, someone left the forum, simply because they were told that other people have the right to say that they don't like Paul's books. That was a massive over-reaction.

On the other hand, sometimes people do go overboard sometimes with their criticisms, as if Paul is the worst writer of all-time, without considering Paul has some massive fans on here.

It's all about balance, really.
 
Mistletoe12
meegat39 wrote:

I don't think that is what was meant. No one is calling you or anyone else a snob for not trying his other books. In my experience some fans can get very personal indeed when being critical of his work and this is when I take offence. I know the science is dodgy, but sometimes people (not meaning you) go to far with their comments.



Thanks Meegat, you summarised my original post regarding PD's books perfectly! Smile

It wasn't aimed at any individual. And as Trevor Travis succinctly and accurately wrote: 'It is all about balance.' I agree completely!

Since this is a thread to discuss Big Finish B7 Books in general, I'm loath to monopolise it with a detailed discussion about Mr Darrow’s literary contribution, particularly since I would be repeating the same points!

Having said that, I will always encourage anyone already thinking about purchasing the B7 book range to do so …

Blake's 7 spent too long in the wilderness; I'm not looking for perfection at every turn, I simply love the fact we have all this material and I want to indulge for as long as possible ... which I hope, fingers crossed, will be a LONG time!
 
meegat39
Mistletoe12 wrote:

meegat39 wrote:

I don't think that is what was meant. No one is calling you or anyone else a snob for not trying his other books. In my experience some fans can get very personal indeed when being critical of his work and this is when I take offence. I know the science is dodgy, but sometimes people (not meaning you) go too far with their comments.



Thanks Meegat, you summarised my original post regarding PD's books perfectly! Smile

It wasn't aimed at any individual. And as Trevor Travis succinctly and accurately wrote: 'It is all about balance.' I agree completely!

Since this is a thread to discuss Big Finish B7 Books in general, I'm loath to monopolise it with a detailed discussion about Mr Darrow’s literary contribution, particularly since I would be repeating the same points!

Having said that, I will always encourage anyone already thinking about purchasing the B7 book range to do so …

Blake's 7 spent too long in the wilderness; I'm not looking for perfection at every turn, I simply love the fact we have all this material and I want to indulge for as long as possible ... which I hope, fingers crossed, will be a LONG time!


Hear hear!!
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
Ela
I have to say I've heard very mixed things said about Paul Darrow's Blake's 7 books. But I did get the Lucifer audio book and thought the story held together pretty well. It started out slow, but I got interested as I listened.
 
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