The Tomorrow Windows

by Jonathan Morris

BBC Books 8th Doctor Adventures, 2004

Amusing, touching, clever and able to capture the ineffable spirit of the 8DAs, "The Tomorrow Windows" is another strong book from Jonny Morris. It's a comedy, but also very serious—something the 8DAs have occasionally done very well (one might compare "The Crooked World"). The prologue, direct to the reader, is very effective and then it's straight into... well, Douglas Adams.

This book was hugely influenced by Douglas Adams. At times, it becomes an Adams pastiche (although the author's acknowledgements denies the intention to pastiche). At times, it practically fits into "Hitch-hiker's" continuity, as if it was a lost episode. Very occasionally, it comes across as an annoying clone, repeating jokes that were funnier the first time, but usually it's just a very good novel that was clearly influenced by Adams. If you don't like "HHGG", don't bother with "The Tomorrow Windows", but if you do (and who doesn't?), I can recommend it.

Douglas Adams could be pretty cynical, even misanthropic in his writing. The notable difference in "The Tomorrow Windows" is how even more bitter and pessimistic it can be! Yet it's also very funny. There are some great jokes, silly jokes, pointed jokes, jokes about fandom. And a plot that, as we've come to expect from the author of "Festival of Death" and "Flip-Flop", actually makes sense while being tied around a complex time-travel device. Nor are the regulars ignored: Morris delves into Trix's character and Fitz has plenty to do too.

It's something of an odd book all round, but "The Tomorrow Windows" demonstrates that the 8DAs can still do something different and something successful.

Henry Potts, 27 Aug 2004

Originally posted to the Jade Pagoda mailing list.

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