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  1. #1
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    Default S18 Literary Companion

    Or in other words, what were you reading around the time S18 was first broadcast? Or for those too young to remember (or weren't even born, perhaps) what was published around that time which you discovered at a later date and enjoyed?

    The thread to discuss Target books of the period, or any other novels/writers, magazines, comics or any other publications you were into at the time.

    The big thing for me at the time was the gradual move from comics and kids books into magazines and slightly more adult literature. Marvel UK had given all their titles a major revamp the year previously, not for the better in most cases imo, and I was gradually losing interest in the UK range (although the ongoing Black Knight strip kept my interest) so comics-wise I was starting to buy mostly US imports, both Marvel and DC. Although this may not be the greatest period of their history, I still have a soft spot for the titles published around this time. But it was the increasingly informative Doctor Who Monthly and Starburst from Marvel which really whetted my appetite for all things fantasy and sci-fi. US titles such as Starlog and Fangoria were harder to get a hold of, but I loved reading about these great old tv series and films I could only ever dream of seeing, such as The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits (which I remember being excited about when BBC2 showed it a year or so later late on Friday evenings).

    As for books, I was into Robert E Howard's Conan series in a big way at the time (the film was to be a huge disappointment to me a couple of years later) as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and John Carter series (I still love those old pulp stories) and was just discovering the magical worlds of Micheal Moorcock and a certain JRR Tolkein. My parents didn't consider my tastes much more adult than what I'd been reading before, but to me it was a huge step up from the Hardy Boys...

    So what did you like in the worlds of books, magazines and comics circa S18?

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    I guess I was probably reading Target after Target at that time - and like you, Mac, on the magazine front I remember picking up the occasional Starburst, and we always got DWM. It was around the time of season 18 that the mag first went monthly I think - I seem to recall us getting the first monthly issue (Tom & Leela from Invasion of Time, green border?) during the Summer holidays.

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    I had just started school as S18 aired, so i was learning to read. The only things I can be sure of having read to me were the Mr Men books, Bod and the Tiger, The Flumps- Secrets and the wonderful, and truly beautiful book Rainbow Rider.



    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Another thread has just reminded me - I also read the novelisation of The Empire Strikes Back. And that sort of kick-starts a memory for me, that it was probably 1980 when I first heard of and started reading the 'Galactic Warlord' series by Douglas Hill. Anybody else remember those?

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    Whilst I wasn't around to be reading books in 1980, there were a few great books published in that year, including:

    The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
    Waiting for the Barbarians - J.M. Coetzee
    The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
    The Devil's Alternative - Frederick Forsythe
    Firestarter - Stephen King
    Smiley's People - John le Carre
    The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
    Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

    Ant x

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

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    I wasn't reading books in 1980. I may have been eating them.
    Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
    ARRRRGHHHHH!!!!!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #7
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    I remember what I'd have been reading about this time would have been Star Wars weekly, the occasional Rom: Space Knight (Marvel comic) and of course Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly.



    Anyone remember what stories they ran 1980-1?
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    I remember that Dragon's Claw (monks & Sontarans) was the strip running at the time they moved from Weekly to Monthly. There was a great Who-y cliffhanger with the big Sontaran reveal ("The bronze men - They're Sontarans") and some guff about a secret code phrase that made the monks fighting-mad.

    I'm more intrigued as to exactly what the 'new force' behind Doctor Who was. Is it Adric? Or some kind of energy field, surrounding us, binding us together?

    Ant's mention of T'Restaurant at t'end of t'Universe, though, reminds me that I would have bought both that & the original book sometime in this year, not long after the TV series aired... in fact, as the years fall away, I know for certain that I got the first book in between transmission of parts 3 & 4, because I can remember spending the week baffled as to how they would stretch something like 4 pages of the book to a half hour. (The original book doesn't go from exploding computer bank to Restaurant, it pretty much goes from exploding computer bank to nipping back to the spaceship and finishing very abruptly!)

    Somewhat tangentially (and, I guess, 1981 rather than 1980) I can remember buying the third book and being actually rather shocked to find the F-word used in it. Ah, innocent days...

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    On the novelisations front, I also read Empire some time before actually seeing the film. That was probably the first film which I had ever read several different adaptations of, before actually seeing the film. I think the first version I read was actually a Marvel comic adaptation which featured a very different looking Yoda to what we saw in the film, then a little later another version from Marvel appeared in another format (one was one of those magazine-style movie specials, the other was a paperback book...I can't quite remember which version appeared first but one must have been based on an early draft of the film given the different Yoda)...this all before even reading the novel. I practically knew the film off by heart before ever seeing it, and it reamains my favourite Star Wars film to this day.

    I also read the Star Trek novelisation by Alan Dean Foster, and it was much more exciting than the actual film was. I was already into Hitch-Hikers, having been introduced to it in a 1979 issue of Starburst, and I can remember being rather puzzled by differences in the Restaurant novel from the radio broadcast; I must have been expecting a straight novelisation of the episode, and this was my first real inkling of how Adams liked to tinker with his work. Other novelisations from that period included two Buck Rogers In The 25th Century ones, Battlestar Galactica: The Cylon Death Machine, and Blakes 7: Project Avalon which I read several times that year...like the Doctor Who Target novelisations, it was my only way of getting a fix between seasons.

    As for Galactic Warlord, Andrew, the title rings a bell but I don't remember ever reading any of them. The books were probably in either the school or local library, but for some reason I never picked any up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    I was into Robert E Howard's Conan series in a big way at the time (the film was to be a huge disappointment to me a couple of years later)
    I'm glad you mentioned those, I'd forgotten all about them. I read them around 1976/77, can't remember exactly why I started reading the books, maybe it was because of a Marvel Comic, which I was big into.
    Marvel started changing their weeklies around 1980, Marvel UK was fast catching up with the American side and they began to go monthly with the comics. My newsagent began having trouble getting them every month and my interest began to wane. It was around November/December that I noticed Dr. Who Weekly had gone monthly and seemed all the better for it, so I began getting that. That was when I started to become a real fan as the magazine began stirring long forgotten memories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    It was around November/December that I noticed Dr. Who Weekly had gone monthly and seemed all the better for it, so I began getting that. That was when I started to become a real fan as the magazine began stirring long forgotten memories.
    I think I'd say the same for myself. If it wasn't for DWM, particularly in those early days, my interest in the series would possibly have all but disappeared as time went on. And as I said above, that other Marvel title Starburst also awakened my interest in many other old (and new) tv series and movies that I probably would never have otherwise heard of, beginning a lifelong love of cult tv and films. I'd even go as far as to say that I have Marvel comics in particular, as a company, to thank for being a fan of all this great stuff in general, thanks to their great 70s comics versions of such fantasy & horror characters as Conan, Doc Savage, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and adaptations of such films as Logans Run, Planet Of The Apes, Star Wars etc.

    And Stephen, it was the Marvel Conan comics which got me into the Conan novels as well. The Conan strip really rocked in the late 70s/early 80s with the brilliant RoyThomas/John Buscema creative team at the helm. The series never really recovered from their departure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    And Stephen, it was the Marvel Conan comics which got me into the Conan novels as well. The Conan strip really rocked in the late 70s/early 80s with the brilliant RoyThomas/John Buscema creative team at the helm. The series never really recovered from their departure.
    Of course!!!! I'd forgotten those names, I'd always admired and loved John Buscema's artwork on those strips. I still have all the old Marvel weeklies, plus a load of American monthlies from the 60s and 70s at my parents home. There must be over 1000 of them in all. I really, really must find some time to get them out and take another look at them. As much as I love old Who and the contemporary music, digging out those old comics would be a real nostalgia trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    Of course!!!! I'd forgotten those names, I'd always admired and loved John Buscema's artwork on those strips. I still have all the old Marvel weeklies, plus a load of American monthlies from the 60s and 70s at my parents home. There must be over 1000 of them in all. I really, really must find some time to get them out and take another look at them. As much as I love old Who and the contemporary music, digging out those old comics would be a real nostalgia trip.
    I've been reading the Dark Horse recolourised reprints over the past few years, and the stories really have stood the test of time well, the first 115 issues or so in particular plus the b&w Savage Sword Of Conan series. If you don't object to reading comics on a monitor Stephen, feel free to PM me as I've got digital copies of loads of stuff from this period and you'd be welcome to a copy if you wished. It's not quite the same as the real thing but it's also less hassle than raking about your parents home!

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    I can't quite remember which version appeared first but one must have been based on an early draft of the film given the different Yoda
    Oh crikey, yes I remember that. It was a 'comic book' I think, I've still got it upstairs in fact. I'm pretty certain that by the time the film adaptation was being printed in the Star Wars Weekly comic*** they'd modified the artwork so that Yoda on the page was a lot more like Yoda on screen.

    Comics wise, in 1980 I was getting Star Wars every week, but far superior to that was 2000AD which I started getting in 1979 and continued with unti the late 80s. 1980 was the year that saw the debut of Judge Death and also the epic Judge Child story, which was returned to again and again in later years. I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that it was a great time for the comic, really 2000AD stood head and shoulders over other stuff at the time, and really fired my imagination.

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    ***When ESB came out, Marvel UK renamed 'Star Wars Weekly' as 'Empire Strikes Back Weekly'. For some reason this totally confused out local newsagent, which meant I missed the first couple of issues of ESB as they didn't order it in. At the time, obviously, it really annoyed me; but looking back I think it rather ironic that somehow our newsagent was the only person in the world who hadn't heard of The Empire Strikes Back!!

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    A few covers from September 1980...



    The first monthly issue of DWM had features as follows:
    Page 2 Pin-Up- The Second Doctor [The Power Of The Daleks]
    3 A Letter From The Doctor / Contents
    4-10 Comic strip- Dragon's Claw Part 6
    11 Gallifrey Guardian; Television: "Shada" abandoned
    12 Letters- Who Cares!
    14-17 Profile- Star Profile; Verity Lambert
    18 UNIT Hotline; Know Your Enemy: The Nimon
    20-23 Television- The Dominators; Synopsis
    24 Fantastic Facts
    26-30 Television- The Invasion Of Time; Synopsis
    31-34 Back-up strip- Star Tigers Part 5

    Elsewhere, Marvel Comics classic 'Dark Phoenix' saga was coming to a dramatic conclusion in Chris Claremont & John Byrne's excellent X-Men title; Mad magazine was topical with its take on the US Presidential election campaign between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; this months Starburst featured articles on Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Salems Lot and Popeye The Movie






  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    Elsewhere, Marvel Comics classic 'Dark Phoenix' saga was coming to a dramatic conclusion in Chris Claremont & John Byrne's excellent X-Men title;
    Yep! that was the point where I started to lose track of the mags. I see you've scanned the American title there, it was a few months later I think, with the UK monthly version that I rally gave up. Never did get to see the end of the Phoenix saga.

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    That was my first ever DWM.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    I remember being really peeved when Doctor Who Weekly turned into Monthly - cos I used to like getting it every week.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    Never did get to see the end of the Phoenix saga.
    Not for much longer...!

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