Tim Scheidler

TIM SCHEIDLER, who's been with us since June 2011, holds a Master's Degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing music, writing in any shape or form, and pretending he's an athlete.

Sunday Status Update: September 15, 2019

JanaThis week I read Lisa Goldstein’s upcoming novel Ivory Apples, a novel about creativity, trauma, inspiration, and obsession that doesn’t quite explore any of those themes to their fullest potential. I started reading Sam J. Miller’s latest novel, a YA stand-alone called Destroy All Monsters and which features teens, trauma, mental illness, and dimension-hopping. (Reviews to come.) On the non-speculative fiction side of my week, I’m reading Patton Oswalt’s Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 8, 2019

Bill: This week I read The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda (stand-alone fantasy),  The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt (debut fantasy), Gates of Never by Deborah Davitt (speculative poetry), Marley by Jon Clinch (reshaping of A Christmas Carol), Avidly Reads Board Games by Eric Thurm (non-fiction), and Aluminum Leaves, a novella by our very own Marion Deeds. In genre video, I’m halfway through season one of The Terror (and since Marion mentioned it, also just finished season three of Shetland).

Jana: This week I’m reading (and really enjoying) Tamsyn Muir’s debut novel Gideon the Ninth Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 1, 2019

Jana: This week I’ve been working my way through Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction. It’s well-researched and well-written, and I’m learning a lot about all four authors, far surpassing what I already knew about Heinlein and Hubbard. I’m also re-reading Alison Wilgus’ Chronin Vol. 1: The Knife at Your Back in preparation for Chronin Vol. 2: The Sword in Your Hand, which concludes the saga of time-traveling university student Mirai Yoshida, who must help restore Meiji-era Japan to its proper chronological... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 18, 2019

Bill: Been gone for a month-plus on a hiking/camping/college visiting trip so haven’t been posting or actually doing a lot of reading. But over that that time I did read:

Last Light of the Sunand (as a reread) Sailing to Sarantiumand Lord of Emperors, all by Guy Gavriel Kay, which is recommendation enough. In fact, all three of us were often sitting at our campsite engrossed in our respective Kay novel (my wife with A Brightness Long Ago) and my son and I with one of the others)

The Violent Century, Lavie Tidhar’s excellent alt-history with superheroes

Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks by Michael Lanza. The title pretty much says it all, a bittersweet ode ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 11, 2019

Jana: This week I nursed my pup through a minor eye infection, finished Mercedes Lackey’s Eye Spy (ultimately not as good as its FAMILY SPIES series predecessor, The Hills Have Spies), started JY Yang’s The Ascent to Godhood (the latest TENSORATE novella), assisted with building a workbench for my garage, and observed the continuing brownin... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 28, 2019

Jana: This week I finished Mercedes Lackey’s The Hills Have Spies and jumped right into its sequel, Eye Spy; I’m enjoying the FAMILY SPIES series more than I expected, though it has more of a retro-genre feel than I tend to seek out on my own. Adolescent Me would have loved this series, to be sure. I also had the pleasure of reading our own Marion Deeds’ recently-published novella, Aluminum Leaves, and will be reviewing it for Fantasy Literature soon! Huzzah!

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Sunday Status Update: July 21, 2019

Bill: I’m traveling so haven’t been on in a while and reading is sporadic.  But since my last time, I think I’ve read (I may be missing one or two): Beneath the Twisted Trees by Bradley Beaulieu, This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, Robot Generation by Terri Favro, Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. In audio my son and I finished Read More

Holy Sister: A well-crafted finale

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Holy Sister (2019), the third and final book in Mark Lawrence's BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR series, is a satisfying, well-crafted ending to an inventive series. Lawrence, at this point a veteran in the trenches of Heroic Fantasy, wraps things up with what's probably his greatest assurance of the series, and though the tropes on display will be familiar to fans of the genre (and of Lawrence's earlier work), they add up to an engaging and often thrilling finale.

But before we get into the meat of things, a quick synopsis: when last we left Nona and her friends, they were on the run from their enemies with a stolen shipheart. Lawrence recommences the narrative years later, but recounts the details of the escape in a succession of quick, deft flashbacks. In the present day, the u... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 14, 2019

Lots more fun books this week!

Jana: This coming week I’ll be starting Mercedes Lackey’s The Hills Have Spies, the first volume in the FAMILY SPIES trilogy within the larger VALDEMAR universe, so that I can understand what’s going on in Eye Spy, the just-published second volume. I haven’t read any of Lackey’s work before, but I’m well aware that she’s widely considered to be a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, so I’m curious to see how I respond to her style. Reviews of other books are forthcoming, albeit more slowly than I would prefer. Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 7, 2019

A belated happy Independence Day to our American readers, and a great collection of summer reads!

KatNow that my freshmen are getting the hang of things, I was able to consume a few books this week: Bewitched and Betrothed is the newest book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES. These are so good in audio format. In The Shadow of Spindrift House was a creepy little Lovecraftian work by Mira Grant. Also ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 30, 2019

Another week, more fun books!


JanaThis week I waited for new glasses to arrive; I finally admitted to myself that experiencing constant eyestrain-related headaches and just scooting my monitor closer are not long-term solutions to everything becoming increasingly blurry. So while I can still read books in short spurts if I hold them just so, and I can get reviews written by hand, I’m spending less time at the computer than I would like. It is...frustrating, to say the least. I finished Mira Grant’s In the Shadow of Spindrift House and read
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Sunday Status Update: June 23, 2019

Plenty more fun books this week!

Bill: This week my one full book was an excellent look at the use of remote sensing in science, Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past  by Sarah Parcak.  I made a second attempt at Tide of Stone by Kaaron Warren, but only got a bit more than a third of the way in before giving it up once more.  In shorter works, I took a look at several Hugo retro works: short stories by Asimov, Bradbury, and C.L. Moore, as well as a novella by Moore and husband Henry Kuttner, Clash by Night.  Finally,  I’ve almost finished This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar. In video, ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 16, 2019

As summer goes on, we're reading some new books.

Bill: This week I read a solid alien contact novel — The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull, an absolutely captivating look at the explorations and ramifications of the Greenland ice sheet — The Ice at the End of the World by Jon Gertner, and an interesting but at times too detailed look at the impact of discovering carbon 14 — Hot Carbon: Carbon 14 and a Revolution in Science by John F. Marra. In video, I watched the last few episodes of season four of The Magicians, and the finale absolutely broke me (in a good way).  I’m not only still thinking of it days later; I’m still watching it (my son walked in last night and asked, “how many times have you watched that scene now?”)

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Sunday Status Update: June 9, 2019

Another week, and we're still reading plenty of fun books!

Bill: This week I continued through some Locus nominees, reading The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken, If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress, and my personal favorite among them, the historical fiction The Hunger by Alma Katsu about the Donner Party. I started Tide of Stone by Kaaron Warren, but only gave it about 60 pages before stopping (the voice just didn’t do it for me), though I’ll probably give it one more shot. I also read Oliver Morton’s mostly excellent non-fiction work, The Moon: A History for the Future, which offers up fascinating details on the Moon itself but also explores future missions, both near-term (landers) an... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 2, 2019

Another week, more books!

Bill: This week I read several Locus nominees:  The Red-Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear, Ahab’s Return by Jeffrey Ford, and In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey. In TV, my son and I are still enjoying The Magicians season four, and I’ ambout three-quarters of the way through Cloak and Dagger season two, which is a bit more uneven in the latter half but I’m still mostly impressed by.

Kat: My mom broke her foot so I was out of town helping her this week and only got one book read: Paul Tremblay's The Cabin at the End of the World, which is a Locus finalist for Best Horror Novel. I'm not much of a horror reader, so keep that in mind when I say that I didn't love the book. The audio version was especially disappointing. Te... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 26, 2019

Plenty of books this week!

Bill: This week I read several of the Locus short fiction nominees as well as a pair of nominated YA novels: The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak and Half-Witch by John Schoffstall. I’m also half-way through The Red-Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear, book two of her LOTUS KINGDOMS series.  Not much genre viewing save for an episode of The Magicians, as I’m binging Deadwood (just as great the second time around) in preparation for the upcoming movie.

Jana: This week I didn't really have time to read or write, which was a bummer. I planted some teeny-teeny-tiny saplings in my backyard, helped my neighbors clean up fallen branches after an early-week sn... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 19, 2019

We read some fun books this week!

Bill: This week I read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Moon, which had some good ideas but overall was disappointing; read a good if not great collection of essays, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by  Rebecca Solnit; and my son and I listened to Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation and Empire on our way to a college visit.  We’ll finish with Second Foundation on another visit in two weeks. In other media, we’re working our way through The Magicians Season Four  and continuing to love it. On the other side of the spectrum, we keep ranting about the penultimate episode of GoT and how we, um, didn't love it. Finally, we're also slowly but happily continuing with The X-Files and are no... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day!

Bill: No genre books this week. Instead, I read The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair — a quick tour of the histories of individual colors that I wish had slowed down a bit more.  I also read Atlas of a Lost World by Craig Childs, which explores how the first people may have arrived in the New World during the Paleolithic. It’s also an engaging travelogue as Childs himself hikes across a portion of the Harding Icefield, canoes up the Yukon, or flees a pair of wolves in Siberia near the Bering Land Bridge. And I continue to listen to The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years by Robert M. Hazen.

Jana: This week was another good, productive week. (I could get used to this! I won't, but I could.) I rea... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 5, 2019

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

Bill: This week I read The Seventh Decimate and The War Within by Stephen R. Donaldson, with book one sorely disappointing and book two a bit better; the informative if a bit flat The American Museum of Natural History and How it Got That Way by Colin Davey; and an entertaining history/memoir of the family road trip by Richard Ratay entitled appropriately enough Don’t Make Me Pull Over.  In audio The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years by Robert M. Hazen has picked up stylistically, with a great chapter on the formation of the moon and the Hadean Age of Earth. In video we’re all still lingering over the joy of Avengers: Endgame (trip two this week), and my son and I finally started Ma... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 28, 2019

Lots of great books this week!

Bill: This week I read Guy Gavriel Kay’s fantastic A Brightness Long Ago, which was just as compelling and moving as when I read it the first time two weeks ago.  I also read Tad Williams’ Empire of Grass, an excellent if overlong continuation of his OSTEN ARD series.  In media, what a weekend.  The family and I saw Avengers: Endgame and despite some quibbles, I would have happily stayed straight through the following showing. And GoT’s night battle we all thought wonderfully tense, though the issues were more substantial in this one. I also watched The Magicians season 3 finale, which had a great ending, and I’m looking forward to watching Season 4 after postponing doing so to watch with my son. In audio, I finished Mark Miodownik... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 21, 2019

Happy Easter from FanLit!

Bill: Into the grading silly season this week and next, but I did read Guy Gavriel Kay’s newest, A Brightness Long Ago. Review to come shortly but c’mon, it’s Kay—could it be anything but full of grace, craft, and beauty?  I also finished Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents, a quick (even slight at times) look at all the ways the human body could have been designed better. In audio,  I’ve neared the end, sadly,  of Mark Miodownik’s  excellent Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives. On video, my son and I reached the wonderful “Under Pressure” rendition of The Magicians, Season Three and wrapped up season two of The X-Files. I also finished Sabrina’s second ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 14, 2019

Plenty more fun books on the docket this week!

Bill: This week I read the quietly engaging A Boy and His Dog at the end of the World by C.A. Fletcher; Scott Westerfeld’s Imposters (actually read last week), a solid but more YA and less satisfying return to the world of Uglies; and I’m currently in the midst of Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents, a light but interesting look at all the design flaws in our bodies (though he has yet to get to the one that prevents me from eating all the ice cream I want.). On audio, I continue to listen to the ever-entertaining and informative Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives, by Mark Miodownik. In media my son and I added one more episode each to our watch/rewatch of The Ma... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 7, 2019

We're reading some great books this week!

Bill: This week I took advantage of a momentary lull between papers to read the eighth EXPANSE book, Tiamat’s Wrath, by James S.A. Corey (keeps this great series humming along) as well as Philip Reeve’s Station Zero, the strong conclusion to his excellent YA trilogy that began with Railhead. Outside the genre  I read (or reread since many were familiar) Seamus Heaney’s 100 Poems. On audio I’m currently listening to the engagingly informative Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives (the book itself is delightful). In media my son and I are into the third season of The Magicians, a show that impresses even more on a rewatch. And I confess to s... Read More

Slayer: It slays, more or less (I’m sorry)

Slayer by Kiersten White

According to whom you ask, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is either a campy, inexplicably popular teen drama from the 90s, or it's some of the best television ever made. Not to say that the show can't be both, because in fact it is. The karate kicks and monster makeup one step up from Halloween masks were corny even for the time, and I for one would never have expected a show with such a — let's face it — silly premise to acquire a fan following so strong that it has persisted for over twenty years.

But Buffy was also great television, and that made all the difference. Some of it looks dated today, certainly, when we're spoiled for well-written prestige shows, but even so there remains something unique and special in the story of a peppy girl and her friends saving the world after school hours. The writing is sharp and the schlocky horror is fun, but where Buffy really shines is in... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 31, 2019

As March draws to a close, we have plenty more books on the docket!

Kat: The worst part of my semester is behind me and now I am making myself get off the computer and relax by 8:00pm every night, so I'm getting more reading done. I've joined a jigsaw puzzle swap club, so each night, if there's nothing else going on, I work on a puzzle and listen to an audiobook. This week I read these books: The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs (an amusing fantasy classic), In the Vanisher's Palace by  Read More

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