Sunday Status Update: September 14, 2014

This week, Percy Jackson has an existential crisis.

Percy: The other day, I had a thought. This is usually where Annabeth makes some oh-so-hilarious joke about how I should celebrate the occasion, so I guess I'll just do it for her this time. But seriously, something came to mind that was more than a bit troubling. So... the Olympian gods are real. I've got that. But now it turns out the Roman gods are also real. Just sort of other aspects of the same things. So does that mean the Norse gods might be real too? The Egyptian gods? The Celtic gods? I so do not want to run into the Morrigan's kid, whatever s/he would look like. But it's more than that. So if the Olympians are altered by someone coming up with different beliefs about them, doesn't that mean that we effectively control the gods? We shape them, rather than them shaping us? So it follows that h... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 7, 2014

This week, a rambling story from Supergirl (I promise, the character updates aren't going to turn into flash fictions every week).

Supergirl: Once, I asked Superman the secret to beating his various nemeses. This being my cousin, good ol' Honest Kal the Folksy Traffic Cop, he started off on some sort of prepared speech about perseverance and using your powers for good, and I had to cut him off to get things moving.

"No," I said. "I mean, physically. I've got all the strength, fine, but shouldn't we be doing Super Karate or something? What are your special moves? Do you have some kind of secret jab? Mach 5 axe kick? Seventeen roundhouse barrage?"

"I'm not sure what you mean."

"What do you do when you're up against a big-leaguer? Like, say you fought Wonder Woman."

"Kara, please..."

"No, but really... Read More

The Silent Blade: A Drizzt novel only in name

The Silent Blade by R.A. Salvatore

The Silent Blade is in every regard an improvement over the LEGEND OF DRIZZT’s preceding installment, Passage to Dawn. The plot is tighter, the characterization is subtler, and – stressing this point most of all – the prose has taken leaps and bounds forward. However, this is also the installment of THE LEGEND OF DRIZZT that finally convinced me that the series has not only jumped the shark, but is doing Evel Knievel motorcycle flips over whole tanks of great whites.

Previously, on Drizzt and Friends, the demon Errtu finally (!) managed to return to the mortal plane and gain possession of the crystal shard. At last granted his heart’s desire, Errtu was primed and ready to doom the earth to a living hell. Except he wasn’t, because Drizzt and his crew came bustling in like grumpy border patrol officers and spanked him straight back to the netherworld f... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 31, 2014

This week, Sir Bors shares another legend of the noble Sir Lancelot (as with all other legends of Lancelot, this actually happened in Arthurian myth).

Bors: So Lancelot went hiking in the woods this week, and some woman shot him in the ass. There he was, probably looking for something to decapitate as per his usual preference, when some huntswoman came traipsing along the trail a ways back, mistook his behind for a simple hind, and let fly an arrow from her bow. And that great and noble knight hight Sir Lancelot was dealt a most doleful blow. In his ass. There's no real point to this story. It just makes me very happy.

BillThis week started off not so great with a few disappointing novels:  Frostborn b... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 24, 2014

This week, Galadriel deals with one of the many problems of immortality.

Galadriel: That new big noise from the Men of Westernesse turned up again today. He kept bowing and talking, and I had to keep steering him away from anyone I'd have to introduce him to, because I can't remember if he's Arathorn or his son. They all sort of flow into each other after a couple thousand years. I'm almost sure Arathorn is dead, though, which would make this fellow some amusingly similar take on Arathorn, like just calling him Arathorn Junior wouldn't be subtle enough. Uhhh... Araborn? Aramorn? Eh, you know what? Forget it. I'll just call him Elfstone or something and pretend that's his elven nickname. Men his age love that sort of thing... at least, I think they do. How old was he again?

BillThis week ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 17, 2014

Character update once again on break due to shortage of time...

KatI continued on with a couple of big fantasy epics this week. I read the most recent installment in Larry Correia’s MONSTER HUNTER series, Monster Hunter Nemesis. This continues to be a smart, well-plotted, and extremely violent saga. Then I read Warrior and Warlord, books two and three of  Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 10, 2014

This week, Oin.

Oin: Well, it happened again last night. Some dignitary was visiting from the West (Gondor, this time), and of course when Gloin and I enter the hall, King Dain gets that look on his face, and he gets up to introduce us. Do we introduce ourselves with our father's name? No we do not. We can't help that Grandpap hated him and he wouldn't change the name. But of course Dain found out. And now he has everyone else doing it. Oin son of Groin. Oh, will you pass the gravy, son of Groin? How's the knee today, Groinsson? Just what I'd expect from the line of the magnificent Groin. Half of them don't even try to pronounce it correctly, they just go straight for how it looks on the page. You know what? I've had enough. I'll go with Balin to Moria. Can't be worse than this place.

KatRead More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in July 2014 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

One commenter from the U.S. or Canada will win these two new August releases from our friends at Tor: Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 3, 2014

This week, a Guardian of the Galaxy. Because movie.

Groot: I am Groot.

BillThis has been a great run of books lately. I read The Bone Clocks (a 5), the newest from David Mitchell, one of my favorite contemporary authors; The Widow’s House (4.5), by Daniel Abraham, one of my favorite fantasy authors. And A Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 27, 2014

Chronically short on time this week, so unfortunately the character update is on break and will return next week.

BillI’ve been traveling, hiking and camping out west the past three weeks, so I’ve missed a few status reports and also haven’t actually done much reading in that time.  But I did squeeze in several books between campsites . . . 
Two excellent ones:


Red Rising by Pierce Brown:  A rich and sophisticated dystopia that will be battling for my top ten list at the end of the year
Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb: Also going to be in the race for the top ten, though for wholly different reasons—a wonderfully quiet novel

Three very good ones... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 20, 2014

This week, a big thank-you goes out to Kat for securing a status update from the mighty Chewbacca.

ChewbaccaWraauuugggh. Uhwooouuu mwhooh uhuhuhuh grruh aarrrh wraauuhh ooouuuu mwauauauo oo oo raaugh arrr. Ruhm rrrrurururur Hrah Rururu Xawwmohww xx hguahr wraauughh ggrh ruaaa. Mmmwwwwau errrrm. Grrrrruh mghrhugh! Mrruh uu mwwwwmph Hrah xx ru... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 13, 2014

From Sir Bors, another legend of the intrepid Sir Lancelot.

Bors: So Elaine of Carbonek came by this week. The last time she encountered my intellectual treasure of a cousin, she tricked him into her bed by hiding in a dark room and sending her maid to tell Lancelot that a certain other lady of his acquaintance was waiting for him in this dark room. So naturally Lancelot asks no questions (for example, how she got there, or why she sent someone else's handmaiden) but rushes off to do the deed. When he wakes up the next morning, he flies off the handle and promptly ruins any chance he had at being taken for the victim by waving a sword around and threatening to chop various heads off. Scandal for the family, mothers in tears, the usual Lancelot display. So this week Elaine came by the castle. And she sent the same maidservant to talk to Lancelot. To tell him the same lady was waiting for him, once again in ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 6, 2014

This week, many thanks to Marion, who managed to secure an update from Enira, the Banshee Queen from the video game Lineage II.

Enira: Listen and tremble, puny mortals! Heed my words! Cower and obey! I am Enira, the Banshee Queen. I will not be mocked. My will shall not be thwarted. You will return my copy of The South Beach Diet book, and right now, or I will rain down upon you the doom of thousand dark stars!

Kat: I read three good books this week. Shannon Hale’s The Unfairest of Them All is the second book in her EVER AFTER HIGH series about the children of famous fairytale characters. These are silly children’s stories, but they’re quite entertaining and have some nice life lessons, too. In Wint... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 29, 2014

As always when inspiration fails to strike for anything else, we're back to one of the big three: Drizzt, Supergirl, or Frodo. Lots of LotR lately, just read tons of Drizzt, so... yep, it's going to be a superhero week.

SupergirlUgh. First day of the Justice League's summer training course. Just got off three straight hours of sitting in a room watching Green Arrow flick through a powerpoint presentation on the structural integrity of buildings, and how we're all supposed to avoid hitting world-destroying supervillains into them. Stargirl was asleep against the wall. Lucky. I couldn't even do that, because Arrow still hasn't forgotten about that one time I collapsed a YMCA and he kept looking over at me. Now we get a piddling little half hour for lunch, and it's straight over to a lecture on -- I kid you not -- "Awareness of Your Cape while Flying."

Read More

Skin Game: Exciting and Well-Crafted

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Reading a DRESDEN FILES book at this point is literary equivalent of sky-diving. I think I’ve compared the experience to a roller coaster before, but I was in error. Roller coasters, in the main, start off with a slow clickety-clack up a steep slope, and you sort of bob up and down and round and round after that before finally drifting to a long, hissing halt. Skin Game, however, dispenses with the trappings and simply shoves your exuberantly screaming self out an airplane door and directly into glorious freefall.

When last we saw Harry Dresden – wizard and Winter Knight – he had learnt that he had somehow been conned into becoming Warden for a maximum security magical prison called Demonreach, an island in the midd... Read More

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