Status Update

Every Sunday Tim compiles a report about what we read the week before. For most of the books we mention, you can expect a review soon.

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

Sunday Status Update: June 22, 2014

Sir Bors returns with more complaints about his famous cousin this week (note: this actually happens in the Arthurian Legends).

Bors: Another nightmare for the family this week, and once again you-know-who is to blame. Apparently Lancelot was mincing around the countryside procrastinating on some quest or another when he came out of a forest and spotted a pavilion full of luxuries. Candles, buffet table, wine, feather-bed, the works. So naturally our man decides that God put it all there solely for his benefit. He stuffs himself, guzzles as much wine as he can hold, then totters off and falls into bed. Oh, but it gets better. The honeymooning couple who own the pavilion return separately. The wife gets scared and runs off, but the husband is a bit more nearsighted and thinks his bride is already in bed, so he hops right on in. Whereupon Lancelot wakes up, beats the poor sod about the head, dra... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 15, 2014

In honor of Father's Day, James Potter. The dads have it rough in fantasy.

James: Took Harry out in the yard today to have a look at the jack o'lanterns. It's remarkable to me how quickly children pick things up. Harry will be a great wizard, I'm sure of it. Hopefully not too great, of course -- all the great wizards and heroes in our world (and stories too) have this odd tendency toward being orphans -- but a nice, easy-going, moderate great. Ah, it's great that I have such a long and untroubled road to watch it occur. In fact, I'm so confident that neither Lily nor I have made any arrangements whatsoever in our wills for Harry's upbringing. But come on... what could possibly happen?

Kat: It was another long high epic fantasy for me this week:  Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 8, 2014

This week, Legolas confronts the specter of death.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3448957: The quest grows ever more perilous. Yesterday (as recorded last entry) Mithrandir fell into shadow. Should I too fall in battle, I leave this entry behind as my last words to the remaining members of my Fellowship (should any survive me, which honestly seems unlikely, but who knows?). To Aragorn I leave my heartfelt hopes that he will one day become king or whatever. Enjoy. I've been waiting to become king for a couple hundred years now, but my father's immortal so, you know, I know how you feel. To Boromir I would like to say that it is completely possible for someone's hair to be one color and his eyebrows another, so please stop harping on it because it makes you look ignorant. Thank you. To Merry, I apologize for briefly thinking he was a female Hobbit. No, your people do not... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 1, 2014

So, is the rest of Middle-Earth just kind of an Amish equivalent, or are the Hobbits just really advanced, or... ?

Oin: Today, I was trying to read Secrets of the Dwarven Smiths and How Elves Stole Them (fantastic read, I recommend it to everyone. Especially Elves). Trying, I repeat. Bilbo had to go off into another of his rambling monologues about how terribly uncivilized everything is, and Durin's Beard, shut up, SHUT UP! Yes, all right, we understand already: you come from some sort of quasi-Victorian society and we're stuck in medieval Scandinavia. Well maybe we like it that way. Maybe we don't want clocks and waistcoats and carriages and whatever else. Damned hobbit.

Bill: This week I read Watt O’Hugh Underground, the sequel by  Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 25, 2014

This week, an entry from Galadriel's early days as an elven political activist...

Galadriel: Week four of the power outage in Valinor, and I must say, I am glad that Feanor isn't bending to the Valar's pressure. Was it the elves' fault that the trees of light and life were destroyed? Not in the slightest -- look into these things, people, the blame must lie with the Valar, whose shoddy security and preposterously slow response time allowed Morgoth and (get this) a giant damned spider to waltz in and cripple all creation single-handed. Or... well, actually about ten-handed, if you count them up, but that's not the point. The point is that this is the Valar's fault and it is egregiously unfair for their error to be reflected in elven taxation.

Brad: Thanks to all of Sandy's excellent revi... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 11, 2014

Seasons change, years change, but good old Drizzt remains a constant.

Drizzt: This week I had occasion to attend a most doleful event. 'Twas a celebration of the life of Regis, a dear friend. I brought my dear panther Guenhwyvar, and she may have applied herself a touch too forcefully to a tray of hors douerves, but elsewise, the wake was conducted with solemnity befitting such a noble life and such a tragic demise. Each of us rose to speak of our great affection for Regis and the many delightful hours spent in his company (though, curiously, I noticed that all eulogies but mine tended toward brevity -- perhaps some memo was lost in the mail).

Ah, but here we come to the most tragic hour of the tragic day. I rose to give my speech. I waxed eloquent, my friends, I confess it. Many a tale did I recall, many a happy hour recollect. My audience was enthralled. Some went so ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 4, 2014

This week, we receive an update from the Great Detective himself.

Sherlock: My mind rebels at this stagnation. This week I have read some twenty-six treatises upon the chemical methods of detection -- there are, I shall own, at least some hopeful signs of progress in that quarter, and not before time -- as well as every newspaper at least a dozen times and Watson's latest lapse into mawkish literary expectoration.  Under ordinary circumstances, I could find at least casual diversion in discussing it with the man himself, but as yet I cannot forgive Watson after I discovered in him the culprit of The Mysterious Disappearance of my Drug Dealer last week. No doubt he has the miserable, tear-spattered write-up on its way to print as we speak, and I'll force him into a retraction the following day. Damn it all, why do we always do this?

Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 27, 2014

Bit short on time this week, so no character update. I've sent out the owls and ravens for next week, though.

Kat: I had a three-star reading week. Everything I read was entertaining and recommendable, but not wonderful. Dru Pagliassotti’s Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind, the second in her CLOCKWORK HEART series, has an interesting setting. Mercedes Lackey’s first twoELEMENTAL MASTERS books, The Fire Rose and The Serpent’s Shadow, are unique fairytale retellings. Dreamwalker is the start of a new YA series by C.S. Friedman, an author I particularly admi... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! Have a rabbit.

El-ahrairah: What fuss the elil make today, the men! Stamping, bellowing, scratching on the earth for bright things they themselves hide! And whenever they see us, ah! Then their noise increases, and increases, and still increases more. It becomes immeasurable. Ah Frithrah!

Bill: No books this week. Graded a boatload of papers. And binge watched all 64 episodes of Veronica Mars in four days.  Yeah I did. Anyone got a problem with that?

Brad: Right now I am reading two comic book series that are absolutely incredible! AND I can't imagine fans of SFF not loving  both series. One is A Distant Soil by Colleen Doran. It's a series from the late 90s, but it's bec... Read More

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

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