Sunday Status Update: April 13, 2014

And we fall back on a known character this week.

Supergirl: So, uh... this week I was at the Fortress of Solitude again, because the Fortress apparently functions as my naughty stool these days. I maintain that if soccer stadiums didn't want people watching from the Extreme Noseblood seating, they should have closed off the tops. ANYway, since Kal's afraid Batman or Luthor or someone is going to hack his computer, there's no internet and an extremely finite collection of films to watch, so I went exploring. Found this in a stack of old Jimmy Olsen photos: I have no words. Although the pope hat would explain a lot about the holier-than-thou thing he's rocking lately...

Kat: I’m nearing the end of my semester, so I didn’t get much r... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 6, 2014

In honor of the imminent return of Game of Thrones to tv screens everywhere, today's guest update arrives from Tyrion LannisterVery mild spoilers.

Tyrion: I awoke today and decided that it is perhaps high time I rejoined events of real moment. I don't know why, but on opening my eyes I thought "I am thoroughly in touch with my inner dwarf. I need spend no more time on this subplot." When exactly I began relating to my own life as if it was a romance, I have no idea. That is rather troubling, actually. But I did feel the most spectacular sort of benediction and warmth, as if souls all across the world were rejoicing with me.

Bill: Papers.  Papers. More papers.

Kat: My reading experience this week couldn’t have been mor... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 30, 2014

Character update on break. It'll return next week.

Brad: This week I read my weekly comics, including issue two of the new six-issue SANDMAN prequel by Neil Gaiman and issue one of a brand new SILVER SURFER series. The art is unbelievable in both these comics. On audio books, I've been revisiting the complete short stories by Somerset Maugham (my all-time favorite writer of short stories). With my son, I've continued to read THE GREAT BRAIN series of books, one of two of my favorite series as a child (Lloyd Alexander's PRYDAIN series is the other). I also read -- and loved all but the abrupt ending of --Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 23, 2014

Meanwhile, at the Home for Retired Sword & Sorcery Heroes...

Prince Corwin of Amber: Soooo... anyone else getting fed up with Elric? I mean to say, half of what he says doesn't even make sense, I have no idea why Tanelorn is so important, most of his stories just seem to be excuses to talk about how many people he knocked off, his damned alternate universe selves or whatever they are keep showing up just long enough to drink the place dry then rushing off to "save the multiverse," and he keeps bringing back "old friends" we've never heard of. But all that I could stomach. No, the real problem is sheer amount of drama queen in the man -- come on, his story ended in book 2, but not a few years ago he was still doing curtain calls. I'm just tired. Anyone else?

Fafhrd, Gray Mouser, Read More

Swords of Good Men: An action-packed debut

Swords of Good Men by Snorri Kristjansson

Swords of Good Men is a pretty good siege story. That’s about as much as I’d feel bound to tell someone if I was, for instance, asked about it in a bookshop. Pretty good. Not a light for the ages, not bad by any means. Not even mediocre. It’s just… pretty good. It has some notable strengths and a few troubling weaknesses. I’ll go into all of that below, but if all you were wondering about is whether Swords of Good Men is a reasonably diverting Viking fantasy novel to hang around with for a little while, there’s your answer. It is, but it operates pretty much just as advertised. It’s not a diamond in the rough, but nor will you be too disappointed.

Anyway, on with the show. The premise of Swords of Good Men is that a young king named Olav has ari... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 16, 2014

And Oin makes another unpleasant discovery.

Oin: So apparently, while no one was looking, Bilbo took an entire chest of gold and another entire chest of silver, in addition to that armour which was basically priceless. Little bugger fleeced us blind. A burglar indeed! King Dain's already been asking awkward questions...

Bill: This was a somewhat eclectic week. I read an examination of women in cartography (looking at their role beginning back in the 16th century and moving forward to today) entitled Map Worlds by Will C. van den HoonaardLast Ape Standingby Chip Walter, which traces the past seven million years of human evolution; Plague Seed (well, 20% of it) a fantasy novel by  Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 9, 2014

This week, Smaug makes an unpleasant discovery.

Smaug: Just saw this travesty of a biography Peter Jackson filmed about my exploits. The little troll went and made me a wyvern! A wyvernWho could look upon my magnificence and compare me to some wallowing, ophidian wyvern?! Some low, foul little worm like... urkgh. Well, he shall learn. He shall learn. When I devour him.

And may I just ask, what was that barrel sequence supposed to be? Whitewater Tours, Middle Earth? Blergh...

Bill: This week I read Shovel Ready by Adam Sternberg (compelling narrator), A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias (compelling premise mostly well executed), and A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, by James ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 23, 2014

This week, Dracula.

Dracula: Ah! I long to see this London! To walk its streets, to haunts its silent places, to prey where I will! Unfortunately, since joining my new club -- Monsters Against England -- I've been reading up on the accounts from my peers, occasions in which mummies, sorcerers, invisible murderers, and death-ray-wielding African goddesses tried the same thing. Apparently it's a troublesome process. Most of all, the accounts advise against inviting one scrappy Englishman into a position to witness your identity and weaknesses.

Well, off to kill Harker, then. Thank you, M.A.E!

Alix: This week, I wound my way through Catherynne Valente’s Silently and Very Fastat a leisurely pace, and enjoyed it immensely. It... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 16, 2014

Today, Denna (or whatever her name actually is) from the Kingkiller Chronicles. Credit to Alix, whose Thoughtful Thursday contribution suggested this to me.

Denna/Diane/Misc. "D" Name: This week I read The Stalker's Guide to Stalking. Very helpful. The real trick is to keep up an air of mad whimsy at all times, so the prey -- uh, that is, the object of your affection -- will buy into the possibility that he could actually keep just happening to run into you everywhere he goes, even if he ends up in a different country or a random tavern. Or a random tavern in a different country. The drawback is that you can never stop being mysterious and ethereal, otherwise he might start thinking of you as a flesh-and-blood human being rather than a zephyr of romance and start considering the improbabilities involved. Delicacy, delicacy... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 9, 2014

We haven't heard from Drizzt in a while, so this week he returns.

Drizzt: It has been a delightful few weeks, until this very day. First I called upon the Lady Alustriel of that most lovely city Silverymoon (some philistine had the temerity to suggest it should be renamed on the grounds of "intolerable silliness" -- I say that man -- or dwarf, or elf -- has no soul). The Lady Alustriel received me quite kindly, seated me at her right hand at the feasting table, and showered me with presents so that I was much embarrassed and knew not what to say in the face of such friendly generosity. Alas, I was forced to decline a moonlit stroll through the gardens with her ladyship on grounds of being much wearied. The next day I slipped away -- a Ranger is ever in and out. Next I came to that delightful Mithral Hall, home of my good friend Bruenor Battlehammer and his daughter Catti-Brie. She and I spent... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 2, 2014

This week, Supergirl Returns. I tried to get hold of Quick Ben, but he sent my muse back in tatters, so I fell back on a known quantity.

Supergirl: You know why I hate Flash? He's a justice hog. Can't count the number of times I hear about an invasion of mole people or something, only to arrive and find that the damned Flash has already taken care of everything. Then I have to just sort of keep flying and pretend I was going to some other catastrophe. I swear I'm going to grease his front steps some time. Thanks to Flash, I had to fall back on a tip I got from Robin that some second-stringer might be planning some kind of recruitment drive in a castle, so I'm staked out above it. All alone, at night in an Estonian February, wearing a miniskirt. Journaling on my phone and questioning my life choices.

Brad: Other than continui... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 26, 2014

This week, something a little out of the usual -- a video game character. Specifically, Hadvar, the protagonist's first contact in Bethesda's Skyrim, and now victim of a bit of an existential crisis.

Hadvar: Think I'm going insane. Was organizing some routine paperwork on condemned prisoners. It's my job. I take down names and compare them to a list, just to ensure there are no mistakes. Suddenly, up steps this... fellow. Or was he a fellow? Dear gods, I don't know anymore. Right before my eyes, his race, gender, skin and eye color started shifting back and forth. Even his facial structure warped. Before my very eyes! He must have gone through two dozen hairstyles, and he kept going back and forth between two of them, as if some invisible demon couldn't decide which one it liked better. I could barely hold myself together. Now I find that no one else saw it. Not my c... Read More

Siege of Darkness: Needs more siege. Also more darkness.

Siege of Darkness by R.A. Salvatore

The major problem with Siege of Darkness is not, hopefully, R.A. Salvatore’s fault. The issue is that this is the point in THE LEGEND OF DRIZZT saga when a particularly noxious example of the “Shared Universe Event” decided to rear its ugly head, getting in everyone’s way and disrupting the meta-narrative. Its long-dreaded appearance does absolutely nothing aside from ticking a box on a checklist, so much so that I’m giving Salvatore the benefit of the doubt here and imagining that the material “had” to be there on the word of the mighty Wizards of the Coast, despotic lords of all Dungeons and Dragons tie-in novels. If that was indeed the case,... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 19, 2014

This week, Granuaile from the Iron Druid chronicles.

Granuaile: I didn't read any books this week. Or last week. Or the week prior, for that matter. Armageddon is nigh, we're constantly on the run, and transforming into animals on a regular basis doesn't make keeping a book very easy. It's hard to rig a tote bag so that it fits falcon, seal, horse, jaguar, and human. I haven't read a newspaper, either. I haven't spent much time in an internet cafe. I'm thoroughly cut off from the world.

So how the heck does Atticus somehow keep dropping jokes that people around react to as pop culture references?

Kat: Due to some extra duties at work, the normal beginning of the semester rush, and my father’s poor health, I’ve managed to read only five books so far this year. That is unusual... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 12, 2014

This week, thanks go out to Marion for obtaining this journal entry from Gregor Samsa, a young man... er... insect... uh... well... what is he, actually.... ?

Gregor: (From the journal of Gregor Samsa, translated from cockroach by Franz Kafka.) I do not consider my visit to the group my sister recommended, Metamorphs Anonymous, a success. I traveled in a coffin-like box loaded on a cart to the meeting, which was held in the cold basement of a church. The others in the group seemed to ignore me, except for shooing me away from the sugar lumps.  There was a group of men who said they change into wolves; they quite preferred the lupine state and wished to have their humanity removed. The group leader, a stern woman wearing an expressionless ceramic mask, with a coiffure of hissing snakes, was unsympathetic to them. She suggested they find another group. Later, when the rest were huddled around the asth... Read More

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