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In Chicks Digs Time Lords, a host of award-winning female novelists, academics and actresses come together to celebrate the phenomenon that is Doctor Who, discuss their inventive involvement with the show's fandom and examine why they adore the series. These essays will delight male and female readers alike by delving into the extraordinary aspects of being a female Doctor In Chicks Digs Time Lords, a host of award-winning female novelists, academics and actresses come together to celebrate the phenomenon that is Doctor Who, discuss their inventive involvement with the show's fandom and examine why they adore the series. These essays will delight male and female readers alike by delving into the extraordinary aspects of being a female Doctor Who enthusiast. Essays include Carole E. Barrowman discussing what it was like to grow up with her brother John (including the fact that he's still afraid of shop-window dummies), columnist Jackie Jenkins providing a Bridget Jones' Diary-style memoir of working on Doctor Who Magazine, novelist Lloyd Rose analyzing Rose's changes between the ninth and tenth Doctors and much more. Other contributors include Elizabeth Bear (Jenny Casey), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield), Mary Robinette Kowal (Shades of Milk and Honey), Jody Lynn Nye (Mythology series), Kate Orman (Seeing I), and Catherynne M. Valente (The Orphan's Tales). Also featured is a comic from the Torchwood Babiez creators, plus interviews with Doctor Who companions India Fisher (Charley) and Sophie Aldred (Ace).


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In Chicks Digs Time Lords, a host of award-winning female novelists, academics and actresses come together to celebrate the phenomenon that is Doctor Who, discuss their inventive involvement with the show's fandom and examine why they adore the series. These essays will delight male and female readers alike by delving into the extraordinary aspects of being a female Doctor In Chicks Digs Time Lords, a host of award-winning female novelists, academics and actresses come together to celebrate the phenomenon that is Doctor Who, discuss their inventive involvement with the show's fandom and examine why they adore the series. These essays will delight male and female readers alike by delving into the extraordinary aspects of being a female Doctor Who enthusiast. Essays include Carole E. Barrowman discussing what it was like to grow up with her brother John (including the fact that he's still afraid of shop-window dummies), columnist Jackie Jenkins providing a Bridget Jones' Diary-style memoir of working on Doctor Who Magazine, novelist Lloyd Rose analyzing Rose's changes between the ninth and tenth Doctors and much more. Other contributors include Elizabeth Bear (Jenny Casey), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield), Mary Robinette Kowal (Shades of Milk and Honey), Jody Lynn Nye (Mythology series), Kate Orman (Seeing I), and Catherynne M. Valente (The Orphan's Tales). Also featured is a comic from the Torchwood Babiez creators, plus interviews with Doctor Who companions India Fisher (Charley) and Sophie Aldred (Ace).

30 review for Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    It's safe to say that I am a big fan of the new Doctor Who, and I have been ever since it arrived in 2005, back when I was sixteen. I wasn't a big fan from the first episode. As a science-fiction fan in general, I had heard of Doctor Who but was not quite sure what it was all about. So I tuned into the CBC and watched "Rose" with interest. Gradually, I came to appreciate Doctor Who for what it is: one of the best TV shows ever. Normally I don't like to jump on the "we have it so good these days" It's safe to say that I am a big fan of the new Doctor Who, and I have been ever since it arrived in 2005, back when I was sixteen. I wasn't a big fan from the first episode. As a science-fiction fan in general, I had heard of Doctor Who but was not quite sure what it was all about. So I tuned into the CBC and watched "Rose" with interest. Gradually, I came to appreciate Doctor Who for what it is: one of the best TV shows ever. Normally I don't like to jump on the "we have it so good these days" bandwagon, but … we do. We Canadians might grumble about licensing restrictions preventing us from watching some videos online, but at least we're lucky enough to see Doctor Who regularly (and now that it's on Space, it's even on a channel that doesn't pre-empt it for hockey!). From the essays in Chicks Dig Time Lords, I get the impression that the life of an American Doctor Who fan involved scrabbling around for video cassettes (which were not always cheap or easy to find) and negotiating with parents/siblings/broadcasters to ensure they had access to their regular dose of Doctor Who. Getting the episodes seems to have been an epic struggle in and of itself; I am lucky enough to get them delivered directly to my TV or computer whenever I like. I've never really seen the old Doctor Who, and this doesn't bother me. I don't feel like I'm missing out, because unlike the essayists here, those Doctors weren't my Doctors. The division between the series is sharp enough that I don't feel the loss, and because I was not around when the old series was broadcast, because I never attended conventions or got involved in the fan groups, I don't have that sense of community that this book so clearly portrays. While I wouldn't mind watching episodes of the old Doctor Who, they are not as essential to me as they are to so many of the contributors to Chicks Dig Time Lords. So for that reason, I really enjoyed hearing their perspectives on the old series and how it affected their childhood. I liked hearing about their favourite Doctors and companions, and especially their anecdotes about attending conventions; working on the shows, the audio books, or the tie-in novels; and becoming a part of the larger community. At times these essays become extremely personal, and I feel privileged that so many people chose to open up their lives to strangers like us. Some of their anecdotes are hilarious: Bill [Baggs] introduced us to Sylvester McCoy the year that he was a guest at [Chicago] TARDIS. The two of them proceeded to beat Michael and me at pool. Actually, it was a close game until Michael's final shot, when Sylv leaned over and whispered into Michael's ear "you're going to lose," using his best Doctor voice. Michael then (rather understandably) flubbed the shot, losing the game. Note to self: do not challenge a Doctor, current or former, to a game of pool. Some of the anecdotes are heartwarming: Lis [Sladen] didn't have to give Caitlin an extra glossy. The nice guys running the autograph lines didn't have to let us jump the line. Colin [Baker] didn't have to wave, and Lisa [Bowerman], Nick [Briggs], and Jason [Haigh-Ellery] didn't have to spend ten minutes talking to our daughter, even if she has listened to her fair share of Big Finish audios. They could have all remained professional and kind, but disinterested. But that's not how this community works. Because, you see, our fandom is truly bigger on the inside. Both of the above quotes come from Lynne M. Thomas' essay, "Marrying Into the TARDIS Tribe". Thomas' daughter, Caitlin, has Aicardi syndrome, and toward the end of her essay Thomas talks about how fans and members of the Doctor Who community have provided assistance and support. It's at this point in the book that I stopped devouring the essays and had to force myself to slow down, because it was difficult to read so quickly while my eyes were tearing up. This is where Chicks Dig Time Lords went from being interesting and insightful to beautiful. I bought two copies of this book from Amazon, one for myself and one as a birthday gift to a friend, who is also a fan of Doctor Who. Ironically, a week later I received access to an electronic copy in the Hugo Voters Packet, because Chicks Dig Time Lords is nominated in the "Best Related Work" category (and I will most likely be voting for it). I shall keep my print copy, because the electronic version is a yucky PDF. And I'm glad to have paid for it. But I've seldom been more tempted to pirate a book: there are just so many people I know into whose hands I want to shove a copy and say, "Read this. It's just that good." Although, as its subtitle implies, this book is a celebration of Doctor Who, it's not just fluff. Many of the essays have more serious moments, and all reveal what it's like to be a woman Doctor Who fan, to go to conventions, to cosplay, to make Who-inspired fan videos or write fan-fiction. The essays herein provide insight into a part of Doctor Who fandom I have never seen, not only because of my gender but also simply because I don't go to conventions, and I neither read nor write fan-fiction. I exist on the periphery of the community, and this was like getting an all-access pass. To be certain, some of the essays are encomia of the show and its fan base. Some verge upon the academic—in particular, Shoshana Magnet and Robert Smith? write about the problematic portrayal of women in the new series' companions in "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Have We Really Come That Far?". I don't agree with all of the essays (I think Magnet and Smith? make some good points though), but they are without exception well-written and fascinating. All of the 28 essays remark, to one extent or another, on how being female has affected the author's relationship with other fans of Doctor Who. Despite this fact, Chicks Dig Time Lords never feels repetitive, never feels like it's harping on some central theme, because the perspectives are just so diverse that every person has a different story to tell. Some are positive, some not so much. But Thomas and O'Shea have managed to collect a broad spectrum of opinions and experiences from across the community of female Doctor Who fans and compile them into a single, amazing volume. For Doctor Who fans, I'd call this essential reading. Even if you aren't a fan of Doctor Who, you still might like this: if fandom and its phenomena interest you, or if as a feminist or sociologist you're interested in women's perspective on women in one of the longest-lived science-fiction fan communities, then grab a copy of Chicks Dig Time Lords.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Some of the essays in this book include really interesting analysis of Doctor Who from the perspective of women, and there were also some great personal reflections about the series. True, the meatiest of the content was more about the new series, but the older Doctors and companions were still well represented in the more personal essays. Unfortunately, half this book is about the fandom, and those parts will largely be of interest to those that participate heavily in it. I was hoping that a hig Some of the essays in this book include really interesting analysis of Doctor Who from the perspective of women, and there were also some great personal reflections about the series. True, the meatiest of the content was more about the new series, but the older Doctors and companions were still well represented in the more personal essays. Unfortunately, half this book is about the fandom, and those parts will largely be of interest to those that participate heavily in it. I was hoping that a higher percentage of the content would be focused on the actual show rather than fanfic and Chicago TARDIS attendance. The idea of a book featuring views from women who love Doctor Who was a really attractive one. But I can't help thinking that the show and its fandom are two separate subjects, and combining them makes this book less appealing to the average fan. The highlights of the book were the contributions from Lloyd Rose, Shoshana Magnet, Elizabeth Bear, and Seanan McGuire.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mickey

    This is a fun look at fandom from a female persepctive. Like several of the essayists in this collection, I was a late convert to the bliss that is Doctor Who. (MANY thanks to my friend Kim who INSISTED that I watch it and then Torchwood) My two favorite essays are by Elizabeth Bear and Carole Barrowman. (big sister of John Barrowman- aka- Captain Jack Yumminess, er, Harkness)The various aspects of fandom (watching, writing, costuming, etc) are well represented in this slim volume and I would re This is a fun look at fandom from a female persepctive. Like several of the essayists in this collection, I was a late convert to the bliss that is Doctor Who. (MANY thanks to my friend Kim who INSISTED that I watch it and then Torchwood) My two favorite essays are by Elizabeth Bear and Carole Barrowman. (big sister of John Barrowman- aka- Captain Jack Yumminess, er, Harkness)The various aspects of fandom (watching, writing, costuming, etc) are well represented in this slim volume and I would recommend it to anyone, male or female, who loves Doctor Who or someone who does.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    I loved this book. Now going in I was pretty sure I was going to love this book. I bought it at a Dr. Who convention, so the subject matter was right up my alley, it was a collection of essays -- one of my favorite genres to read, and it was to explore the experience of being female -- another favorite topic. In someways I was at a disadvantage going into the essays. At the launch panel they joked about many essays starting with the person discovering a strange man in a scarf on PBS. I came to t I loved this book. Now going in I was pretty sure I was going to love this book. I bought it at a Dr. Who convention, so the subject matter was right up my alley, it was a collection of essays -- one of my favorite genres to read, and it was to explore the experience of being female -- another favorite topic. In someways I was at a disadvantage going into the essays. At the launch panel they joked about many essays starting with the person discovering a strange man in a scarf on PBS. I came to the fandom long after I could have had that experience (for me Journey's End had already aired -- What? I'm a late inductee). I was never in the small group of women and a male dominated fandom, because I joined with the flood of female fans brought on by the new series. Many of the essays don't reflect my experience, but nevertheless, they do reflect my history, and as such were interesting and important to read. Also "Costuming: more productive than drugs but just as expensive" is just true facts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jared Millet

    I've become somewhat a fan of these essay books on geek pop culture, and this was a particularly good one, focusing on the women's viewpoint on a particularly cool bit of SF fandom. Dr. Who is far cooler than it's closest cultural equivalent, Star Trek, for at least two reasons: 1) bow ties, 2) its ability to appeal to a large, active, passionate, and devoted female viewership. Topics range from analyses of gender, sexual, and racial stereotypes (and the occasional breaking thereof) in the progra I've become somewhat a fan of these essay books on geek pop culture, and this was a particularly good one, focusing on the women's viewpoint on a particularly cool bit of SF fandom. Dr. Who is far cooler than it's closest cultural equivalent, Star Trek, for at least two reasons: 1) bow ties, 2) its ability to appeal to a large, active, passionate, and devoted female viewership. Topics range from analyses of gender, sexual, and racial stereotypes (and the occasional breaking thereof) in the program, to in-depth explorations of the merits of individual (mostly female) characters. The book only drags in the essays on the history of fandom itself - there's only so much interest you can get from reading about someone else's convention-going experience. Otherwise, a nifty little book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    What a fun book! As it's an essay book, I liked some essays more than others, of course, and agreed with some more than others, but a surprisingly high number of them were strong. It was neat to see how other women have found and interact with Who fandom. It still doesn't make me want to go to ChicagoTardis, or any Who panels at MWC, because I still don't trust fandom outside my circle, but I see from these that I'm not really alone in that. ;) Also, she who admits she is in fandom purely for th What a fun book! As it's an essay book, I liked some essays more than others, of course, and agreed with some more than others, but a surprisingly high number of them were strong. It was neat to see how other women have found and interact with Who fandom. It still doesn't make me want to go to ChicagoTardis, or any Who panels at MWC, because I still don't trust fandom outside my circle, but I see from these that I'm not really alone in that. ;) Also, she who admits she is in fandom purely for the smut? Rock on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cen

    This was an amazing book! On some level I identified with nearly every essay. Many had me laughing aloud and punching my fist in the air. Quite a few had me drawing x's over passages and exclaiming 'what? Absolutely not!' So amazing the various views that can be reached about essentially the same thing. This book is an absolute treasure for Doctor Who fans.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gale

    A must read for Who fans. Especially any female "Who" fan who has ever been in an argument with a male Who fan over shippers, emotion in Who, the Doctor's sexuality, or why River Song rocks so much more than Rose ever did. Actually, if this book had been published a year later, I'd expect more on River..and Amy. Let's hope for a second volume, eh?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Clara

    Thoroughly enjoyable, though it made me want more and more analytical articles. Nice to see such a positive take on female fandom.

  10. 5 out of 5

    tortoise dreams

    A series of essays by women about the BBC television series, Doctor Who, describing what the good Doctor has meant to them. Book Review: Chicks Dig Time Lords is the light, pop-culture book one might grab at the library as reading material for down-time during a Doctor Who holiday binge. It's also the kind of book to convince me that I'm not a real fan as I have zip interest in attending conventions, cosplay, creating fan fiction, fretting about the fan base, or even leaving the house much. This A series of essays by women about the BBC television series, Doctor Who, describing what the good Doctor has meant to them. Book Review: Chicks Dig Time Lords is the light, pop-culture book one might grab at the library as reading material for down-time during a Doctor Who holiday binge. It's also the kind of book to convince me that I'm not a real fan as I have zip interest in attending conventions, cosplay, creating fan fiction, fretting about the fan base, or even leaving the house much. This is a book by and for the fandom and folks somehow connected with the show (e.g., an actor's sister). Most of the women (more than half are from North America, though there is an Australian!) are lifelong fans of the show, and the contents include interviews and a cartoon (there're even suggestions for good convention food). Most of the writers began watching the "classic" episodes with the older Doctors -- many of the American viewers first encountered the Fourth Doctor, y'know, the one with the wild curly hair, perpetually bewildered expression, and a scarf always long enough to trip over. Chicks Dig Time Lords is all in good fun, attempting to balance the traditional audience skew toward male fans. Most of the articles are light and amusing except one that (among other fault finding) castigates the Doctor for rarely kissing men and a female character for only being a medical doctor. Sorry, my standards aren't that high. And sorry again, although tempted, I'm not going to apply the Bechdel Test to every episode of the show -- Doctor Who is too slender a reed to bear such weight; the series makes a reasonable effort at political correctness. Soon we'll have a (much overdue) female Doctor. Plus, Catherine Tate was on the show, so that's good enough for me. Chicks Dig Time Lords is now outdated, as it ends with the Tenth (and so far, the best -- he of the "quicksilver charm and fantastic hair") Doctor. Actually, I only finished reading (it got a little repetitious) so I could write this review in good conscience. Entertaining and diverting, but without much substance. Not bad, but not necessary. Just for fun. Best aimed at die-hard (seriously die-hard) fans and scholars only; this collection could be of use to pop-culture academics studying fan bases and related phenomena. But I did learn at least two things: fans of professional sports are just as much a fandom as geek fans, and the Doctor Who fandom is definitely bigger on the inside. [3★]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate M.

    As a chick who digs Time Lords, I adore this collection of essays about being a female Doctor Who fan. Reading it was like the delightful feeling of sitting down with a bunch of clever friends and having a really great discussion of a shared interest. Some of the essays deal specifically with issues of being a woman in fandom, but the book will definitely also be of interest to male Doctor Who fans, since the shared experience of loving a quirky British show about time travel in a blue box trans As a chick who digs Time Lords, I adore this collection of essays about being a female Doctor Who fan. Reading it was like the delightful feeling of sitting down with a bunch of clever friends and having a really great discussion of a shared interest. Some of the essays deal specifically with issues of being a woman in fandom, but the book will definitely also be of interest to male Doctor Who fans, since the shared experience of loving a quirky British show about time travel in a blue box transcends gender. I expect the book won't have much appeal to those who know nothing about Doctor Who, but casual watchers and hardcore fans alike may find something. The essays take many formats: simple "how and why I fell in love with Doctor Who" accounts, thoughtful academic analysis of the show, essays focused on particular characters, discussions of various ways to be a fan (costuming, fanfiction, etc.), interviews with actresses involved with Doctor Who, and even a comic. The essays can be intellectually stimulating, touching, hilarious, or all three at once. There are many gems in this book, but my favorites are Lloyd Rose's essay about Rose Tyler, the comic by the fabulous ladies responsible for Torchwood Babiez, Carole Barrowmans's account of seeing her baby brother John grow up to play Captain Jack (and get shot by Daleks), and Catherynne Valente's essay on the mythic aspects of Doctor Who and why this show has such a pull on the psyche.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    It's a lovely collection of 27 essays by fans of Doctor Who, ranging from the gleeful to the mildly profound (as far as one can be in less than ten pages), ranging over various aspects of the fannish experience - watching the show, watching the show with your family (including one on what it feel like if your brother grows up to be Captain Jack Harkness, and two which caught at my heartstrings in which Who fans find themselves parenting children with special needs), conventions, fanzines, costum It's a lovely collection of 27 essays by fans of Doctor Who, ranging from the gleeful to the mildly profound (as far as one can be in less than ten pages), ranging over various aspects of the fannish experience - watching the show, watching the show with your family (including one on what it feel like if your brother grows up to be Captain Jack Harkness, and two which caught at my heartstrings in which Who fans find themselves parenting children with special needs), conventions, fanzines, costuming, fan fiction, feminism, race, and lots and lots of references to Livejournal. Several of the contributors discuss how it was that New Who was more attractive to female fans than the ghosts of Old Who pre-2005, and I found it intersting at the time (and interesting again to review) how New Who's success led to a revival of interest in Old Who and to it being appreciated and dissected in new ways. I think I've only met one of the contributors - Kathryn Sullivan, who I was on a panel with at the 2005 Worldcon, and who writes here about fanzines - but I finished the book feeling tremendously warmed by a strong sense of community with the authors, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Who of any period.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justin K. Rivers

    I really love this collection of essays. It's a diverse and often moving examination of women in Doctor Who fandom. Some of the essays are stronger than others. The memoir-style ones, where people just talk about how they got into the show, are less interesting. The best essays are the ones that take that first-person fandom experience and analyze it, break it down, critique the culture, and place it in a greater context. Kate Orman's contribution, for example. What this collection really needed I really love this collection of essays. It's a diverse and often moving examination of women in Doctor Who fandom. Some of the essays are stronger than others. The memoir-style ones, where people just talk about how they got into the show, are less interesting. The best essays are the ones that take that first-person fandom experience and analyze it, break it down, critique the culture, and place it in a greater context. Kate Orman's contribution, for example. What this collection really needed to do was to not reminisce about the past, but to show and analyze fandom in relation to women, past and present, and some of the essays achieve that goal extremely succinctly. Because of the diversity of these essays, it's easy to skip the boring ones and get to the really good ones, so I highly recommend this book. It also serves as a powerful example of why Doctor Who fandom is so awesome - it is inclusive, diverse, and welcoming. The unique, infinite aspects of the show itself are mirrored in the complex relationships and communities within the world of Doctor Who fans.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Doctor Who fans, particularly those interested in gender and fandom, should really enjoy this. I'm a new fan, having only seen the rebooted series (and the terrible mid-1990s TV movie) and so some of the references are lost on me, but there are some fascinating examinations of gender and race in the series, considerations of the fandom itself, interviews with people who have been involved with the series, and some very lovely reflections on what Doctor Who offers. The essays that open and close Doctor Who fans, particularly those interested in gender and fandom, should really enjoy this. I'm a new fan, having only seen the rebooted series (and the terrible mid-1990s TV movie) and so some of the references are lost on me, but there are some fascinating examinations of gender and race in the series, considerations of the fandom itself, interviews with people who have been involved with the series, and some very lovely reflections on what Doctor Who offers. The essays that open and close the book - by Elizabeth Bear and Catherynne M. Valente, respectively - are highlights for me. As a book about fandom, this book does a fantastic job of not just representing others' love for the series (leaving the reader looking in from the outside) but also recreating a little sense of the shared community that comes with interacting with other fans. Hearing from Bear, Valente, and the other writers featured here makes me feel like part of that community. I'm glad I own this because I'll want to reread some of the essays that achieve this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Soup

    I almost feel bad rating this book as poorly as I have as much of my disappointment is the result, I suspect, of my own incorrect assumptions about the content. I picked it up expecting a light or pseudo-academic take on Doctor Who. While there are one or two articles that attempt a theory-less critical theory approach (e.g. the Magnet & Smith or Kang essays, each of which the authors should consider expanding and republishing as academic articles) most of the volume is given over to fandom disc I almost feel bad rating this book as poorly as I have as much of my disappointment is the result, I suspect, of my own incorrect assumptions about the content. I picked it up expecting a light or pseudo-academic take on Doctor Who. While there are one or two articles that attempt a theory-less critical theory approach (e.g. the Magnet & Smith or Kang essays, each of which the authors should consider expanding and republishing as academic articles) most of the volume is given over to fandom discussion and personal How-I-found-the-Doctor tales. In and of themselves these essays are fine, but they certainly weren't what I was expecting or interested in. If you're interested in learning a bit more about big female names in the (largely North American) Doctor Who fandom or show universe (some of the authors are tied to the show proper) than it might be worth the read, but those searching for critical considerations of the series as a cultural or artistic object should look elsewhere.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Li

    3.5 stars I wanted to LOVE this book but I didn't. I wanted this to be fun and lighthearted but some of the essays were way too scientific and/or sociopolitical. (Hey, I'm all for women kicking ass but the feministic slant on some of these essays were a little too much for me.) But, because I love The Doctor and his companions, I enjoyed this. It even got me interested in seeing some of the classic Who stuff, so I guess that's good.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    A combination of anecdote and analysis, this was an interesting read. Most of the entries were relatively light-weight, concentrating on the authors' experience of Who fandom, but there were a few more in-depth essays delving deeper into topics of women and Doctor Who.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sierra Dean

    This was fine. One of the essays Two Steps Forward really bothered me because it lauded Donna's figure while insulting that of other companions. Body shaming works both ways. It was the only essay I didn't finish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    This book was fun and interesting. I didn't love all of the essays - some were a bit too nostalgic for the old series, which I've never seen - but they were all insightful and interesting.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I got sick, realised that I had this to read thanks to the Hugo voters' pack, and read it in a day. Well, there were a couple of entries that I skipped over a bit because they weren't that engaging for me and my experiences, but I swear I read almost all of it. I love Doctor Who, but I do not LOVE it. I am a fan, but I am not a FAN. I don't think I ever realised the difference between the two before meeting people like Tansy and other serious, mad FANS (in much the same way that I didn't really k I got sick, realised that I had this to read thanks to the Hugo voters' pack, and read it in a day. Well, there were a couple of entries that I skipped over a bit because they weren't that engaging for me and my experiences, but I swear I read almost all of it. I love Doctor Who, but I do not LOVE it. I am a fan, but I am not a FAN. I don't think I ever realised the difference between the two before meeting people like Tansy and other serious, mad FANS (in much the same way that I didn't really know about or understand about SF fandom before attending conventions). That is, I will watch Doctor Who anytime it is on TV, and go out of my way to do so, but I don't own any DVDs, and I've never read the books; I've not watched the entire history, although I watched a fair chunk of the First Doctor when the ABC put him on a few years ago. So... love, but not obsession, perhaps? This book was written largely by women who are closer to the obsessed end of the spectrum. I don't imagine that I would ever attend a Doctor Who convention, but it seems most of the women here have done so. That's ok, though; I certainly don't think any less of them for it! In fact it was really fascinating to see what it would be like to be fully in a fandom on which I am at best on the periphery. What many of the writers were writing about, at heart, was the sense of community that being in Who fandom allowed them to experience: the cosplay, the acceptance of a child with special needs, people who shared a wider range of interests than Who but which converged on that central point. The fact that frequently, the cast and crew of Doctor Who featured in these reminiscences adds to their overall appeal, too. (The fact that I too have been on the receiving end of the warmth of Rob Shearman's generosity and boundless nuttiness made it all the more amusing.) When they weren't writing about that community aspect, writers tended to be dissecting aspects of the Who universe and their own love of it, despite its flaws: the role of companions was a particular topic. I remember one of my university tutors remarking once that there are some loves that can withstand ruthless and relentless examination, and that others just can't (her example for the latter, I recall, was Home and Away...). Who clearly falls into the former category for these authors, and it was with great joy that I read critical (in the best sense) examinations of Donna, Martha, and Rose - often different from person to person. The thing that I haven't mentioned yet about this anthology, of course, is that it was entirely written by women. Not being a part of Who fandom either during the Wilderness Years or even with New Who, it had never really occurred to me to consider whether it was a boy thing or not; I guess I've always just read and watched whatever and not been fussed by it - and been lucky enough not to be told not to by anyone I met. So it was also very interesting to read a little about how female fans have been treated, and also about how people (especially women) coming to Who lately have been treated by old-school fans (badly, often). I am led to wonder just how different this book would be were it written by men. I think it probably exists, but honestly I have little interest in seeking it out. I may be wrong, but I harbour a suspicion that it would be more hung up on internal consistency (or lack thereof), and lavishing attention on gizmos. This is probably a dreadful generalisation, and I apologise to male fans to whom this is insulting, but....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Siemann

    My husband brought this home from a science fiction convention, ostensibly for me, though I noticed as I read that a number of the contributors had signed it specifically to him. *cough* Overall, it's a pleasant enough read, mostly personal reminiscences of fandom or the pleasure of the visual text. Particularly outstanding, however, are a couple of essays focusing on specific female characters: Lloyd Rose's essay on why Rose Tyler works so much better with the Ninth Doctor than with the Tenth ( My husband brought this home from a science fiction convention, ostensibly for me, though I noticed as I read that a number of the contributors had signed it specifically to him. *cough* Overall, it's a pleasant enough read, mostly personal reminiscences of fandom or the pleasure of the visual text. Particularly outstanding, however, are a couple of essays focusing on specific female characters: Lloyd Rose's essay on why Rose Tyler works so much better with the Ninth Doctor than with the Tenth (a thoughtful articulation of a point I've often made in less detail), and K. Tempest Bradford's on the awesomeness and the missed opportunities of Martha Jones. Shoshana Magnet and Robert Smith? have written an essay about all the female companions in New Who, which falls into the academic cliche of "let's expose why there's fail in every single case" -- they make some excellent points but it feels a bit same-old, same-old; still, it's one of the ones I'd single out for attention. And the collection ends with a typically poetic response from Catherynne Valente, which I enjoyed for the quality of the writing and our shared appreciation for Christopher Eccleston's performance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Twenty-seven essays and interviews by female fans of “Doctor Who” who may also be the actresses who played his Companions, who do costumes for fan conventions, who write “Doctor Who” novels, who are academics writing about sexism and gender, who are science fiction and fantasy writers, are moms. John Barrowman (he plays “Torchwood”’s Captain Jack, which started out on “Doctor Who”)’s sister Carole, who is an academic, both are Who-vians, and she helped him write his autobiography, writes one of Twenty-seven essays and interviews by female fans of “Doctor Who” who may also be the actresses who played his Companions, who do costumes for fan conventions, who write “Doctor Who” novels, who are academics writing about sexism and gender, who are science fiction and fantasy writers, are moms. John Barrowman (he plays “Torchwood”’s Captain Jack, which started out on “Doctor Who”)’s sister Carole, who is an academic, both are Who-vians, and she helped him write his autobiography, writes one of the funnest of the essays called “Time is Relative.” Elizabeth Bear writes in “We’ll Make Great Pets,” “I understand why the Doctor likes human beings—ridiculous tail-less monkeys that we are—so much. Because when we are our best selves, we’re very much like him: ingenious, adventurous, lucky, energetic, damn-the-torpedoes, humane. And aspiring to be more.”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tabetha C

    Time to be honest: I only enjoyed 1/3 of this book. I picked up this book hoping for an academic read on the Doctor Who fandom and the women involved. Unfortunately, only 1/3 of this book hit my mark. The other 2/3's of it was padding, which included women who loved Doctor Who, grew up with the show, or found the show later on. Each 'essay' involved the following formula: stating of favourite doctor, childhood memory, favourite companion, involvement in Chicago TARDIS, and the hesitation of Matt Time to be honest: I only enjoyed 1/3 of this book. I picked up this book hoping for an academic read on the Doctor Who fandom and the women involved. Unfortunately, only 1/3 of this book hit my mark. The other 2/3's of it was padding, which included women who loved Doctor Who, grew up with the show, or found the show later on. Each 'essay' involved the following formula: stating of favourite doctor, childhood memory, favourite companion, involvement in Chicago TARDIS, and the hesitation of Matt Smith as the doctor (remember, book published in 2010). There were only a few essays I enjoyed, and usually they were written by academics. I did enjoy the life John Barrowman's sister, and it gave a fresh perspective on John. Anyway, this was a bit of a let-down. If I want academic writing, I should stick with online academic journals.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Five stars is not enough - how I want to give this book more! I loved the essays in this book - as a newbie Doctor Who fan, I learned more than I expected about the series and its fan base than I expected in a mere 192 pages. The passion and creativity from the contributors is inspiring and empowering. Required reading not just for Doctor Who fans, but anyone who loves a series with deep passion. Parents should read these essays to their kids to remind them of the importance of individuality, cr Five stars is not enough - how I want to give this book more! I loved the essays in this book - as a newbie Doctor Who fan, I learned more than I expected about the series and its fan base than I expected in a mere 192 pages. The passion and creativity from the contributors is inspiring and empowering. Required reading not just for Doctor Who fans, but anyone who loves a series with deep passion. Parents should read these essays to their kids to remind them of the importance of individuality, creativity and devotion to hobbies and pursuits that might just be less than mainstream. Favorite essay: Carole Barrowman (John Barrowman's sister).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This is an interesting collection of essays by female authors who are also Doctor Who fans. The essays differed from each other in their tonality, as well as the way in which they reacted to the different Doctors and companions. It was nice to read a wide range of opinions and it was intriguing to find that no single essay matched my opinion of Doctor Who. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read and I'd recommend it to any female Doctor Who fan (the male fans may like it too, but it is specificall This is an interesting collection of essays by female authors who are also Doctor Who fans. The essays differed from each other in their tonality, as well as the way in which they reacted to the different Doctors and companions. It was nice to read a wide range of opinions and it was intriguing to find that no single essay matched my opinion of Doctor Who. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read and I'd recommend it to any female Doctor Who fan (the male fans may like it too, but it is specifically geared toward female fans).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denicemarcell

    I was not as over all pleased with this book as i was with Queers Dig Time Lords. not sure if it is because I read the other first and found it unique or because so many of these writers wrote of Sarah Jane and only Sarah Jane which made for a sameness in the reading. especially a mostly continuous reading. There were a few essays that stood out the Australian fan and the UK fan (no Canadian fans that I recall), the essay on Martha, the one who was convinced Doctor Who was a documentary! it is a I was not as over all pleased with this book as i was with Queers Dig Time Lords. not sure if it is because I read the other first and found it unique or because so many of these writers wrote of Sarah Jane and only Sarah Jane which made for a sameness in the reading. especially a mostly continuous reading. There were a few essays that stood out the Australian fan and the UK fan (no Canadian fans that I recall), the essay on Martha, the one who was convinced Doctor Who was a documentary! it is a good and needed book, i am not seeing a need for me to own it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    I originally bought this book as a gift for a friend, who then loaned it back to me to read. I loved it so much, I'm going to buy my own copy! I've been a long-time Doctor Who fan and I loved the stories of how the various essayists found their way to the show, what they liked about it, and their discussions of some of the behind-the-scenes action at conventions, fan forums, and fan clubs. A wonderful addition to both Doctor Who fandom and to thoughtful analysises of women in pop culture.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debra Cook

    Interesting to read stories of other female Doctor Who fans. The interviews with actors like Lisa Bowerman and Sophie Aldred were great. I could have done without the academics that were comparing and contrasting the old versus new series. Seems like the all the participants either knew each other through conventions at Chicago Tardis or Galifrey one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    J. Allen Nelson

    A great collection of essays-- it's hard to criticize anything that mentions the few conventions I actually attended in Mpls as a teenager. I did not agree with everyone but that's fun of it. Squeeeeeeeeee. . . . . . !!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather Gunnell

    Great collection of essays about Doctor Who. :)

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