Neil Perryman has already done a review of Wiffle Lever to Full over at Behind the Sofa, but here I am doing my stint anyway.
I have to say I laughed like a drain through most of this book: it is, above and beyond any nostalgia trips it provides, utterly hilarious.
Or, maybe, you have to have been of that time and have at least enough of an interest in sci-fi/fantasy to connect with the narrative.
Now I have to confess that despite Cloud's belief that I am a geek of high order, I am in fact merely a fringe-geek. For a start I have never been to a fan convention/event (tempted many times but way too shy and way too aware of the higher geek quotient I would encounter). You see, I'm actually terrified that I would be found out for not actually being as informed as some pretend me to be. Sure, I'm a fair bit over the level of geek-ness in my immediate circle and can reasonably stand my ground in certain company. But in amongst the hardcore I would be a lightweight. A feather duster of shallow and faux geekness that would have me drummed out before I could say, well anything remotely amusing really.
So although I really enjoyed reading this book it was a rather strange experience as well. One reason for this is that I am clearly just that little bit older than the author: blimey, nostalgia written by those younger than me. So I come into the game with a different Doctor regeneration and a little more proximity to some of the earlier works discussed.
The book is also resolutely blokey, despite the intermittent presence of author Bob Fischer's partner Sorcha and muttered stunned comments of "there are a lot of women here" (from the Blake's 7 convention). Now this is not a criticism since the humour is that of the fan as much as anything else. Nevertheless I'm unsure how a female version of this book would play out and it did keep crossing my mind to think about my own life with sci-fi [indeed, Cloud suggested I write my own 'woman on the edge of time, space and all things geek' companion book].
Still, as I say, it is very funny. It's also a very quick read, enjoyable digested over the weekend (I finished reading it in Trafalgar Square in the hot sun of Monday late morning). Recommended for anyone with childhood/youth memories and semi-suppressed obsessions with Doctor Who, Star Wars, Blake's 7, Red Dwarf, The Prisoner and much more.
Bob Fischer's MySpace book page
Bob Fischer's Wordpress book blog