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: September 13, 2020

Jana: This week I read Kit Rocha’s Deal With the Devil, a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy about mercenary librarians and super-soldiers that has some well-written fight scenes. I’m nearly finished with Jonathan Strahan’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020, and I started reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, which is lovely and dream-like.

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Sunday Status Update: September 6, 2020

Jana: This week, while still working my way through Jonathan Strahan’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020, I also read Marie Brennan’s Driftwood and Kit Rocha’s Deal With the Devil; I enjoyed Brennan’s novella (no surprise there) and thought Rocha’s post-apocalyptic bands of mercenaries traveling around the wilds of northern Georgia and southern Tennessee had some interesting spins on both urban fantasy and romance tropes.

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Sunday Status Update: August 30, 2020

Jana: This week I’m still reading Jonathan Strathan’s upcoming The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020. My speed is one story per day, so that they stay distinct in my memory. I’m also reading Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country and really enjoying it; Ruff has a deft hand with the blend of meta-fiction, horror, humor, and social commentary at play.

Kat: You haven't heard from me in a month because I've been so busy working on... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 23, 2020

Jana: This week I’m reading Kate Elliott’s latest novel, Unconquerable Sun, the first book in THE SUN CHRONICLES, a trilogy most frequently described as “gender-flipped Alexander the Great in space.” I’m also reading Jonathan Strathan’s upcoming The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020; since most of the stories in this collection are new to me, I’m discovering some interesting gems.

Kelly: I read The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi this week. I loved their 2019 YA novel, Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 16, 2020

Jana: This week I’m reading Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians; it’s well-written and fast-paced, which I appreciate in a horror novel, and it’s set in Montana’s elk country, so for once (huzzah?) I’m on somewhat-familiar ground for the terrible things that are happening. Not that my imagination-software is buggy, but it’s really neat to read a horror story that involves people, activities, and locations I actually have some experience with.

 

Kelly: I’m in the home stretch of Andrea Hairston’s Master ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 9, 2020

Jana: This week was chockablock with non-FanLit responsibilities, so I had much less time for getting reviews wrapped up than I wanted (harrumph). I was able to squeeze in a few reading hours for Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth, though, and it was incredibly difficult to pull myself away each time.

Kelly: So, Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth came out this week, a... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 2, 2020

Jana: This week I read Nancy Kress’ recent novella, Sea Change, which packs a lot of story, social commentary, and very-near-future environmental concerns in an economical package. I also began reading Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth, realized that I wanted to read the last few chapters of Gideon the Ninth in order to be sure that I remembered who was locked i... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 26, 2020

Jana: This week I finished Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows (which got better as it went along, thankfully). I also read Kathleen Jennings’ Flyaway, a very strange and hauntingly written novella set in Australia; I’m still not quite sure what I think of it. I’m mid-way through Colin Dickey’s The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained, and I’m enjoying the ways in which Dickey examines humanity’s desire to experience wonder in ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 19, 2020

Jana: This week I read Zen Cho’s novella The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, and it was lovely, of course. I’m currently reading Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows, and as much as I’m enjoying Addison’s world-building and descriptive talents, I have to agree with Bill and Tadian... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 12, 2020

Jana: This week I read Raquel Vasquez-Gilliland’s debut novel, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, which was beautifully written and contained some extremely searing commentary on America’s treatment of immigrants. I also read Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Relentless Moon, which was so engrossing that I actually forgot to move for a few hours while I read (an oversight I do not recommend).


Bill: This week I read Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 5, 2020

Jana: This week I read The Menace from Farside, a novella published in 2019 as the latest instalment in Ian McDonald’s LUNA universe, which was enjoyable, but it’s been long enough since I read the actual trilogy of novels that I kept distracting myself by wondering how the events in the novella affected or were affected by the preceding books. My fault, not McDonald’s. Also, I started reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Fated Sky Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 28, 2020

Jana: This week I read Lina Rather’s Sisters of the Vast Black, a novella with lots of interesting characters and concepts, and a little more hand-waving than I’d prefer when it comes to hard details like timeline and spatial relations. I’m also reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, which I’m really enjoying despite my constant story-induced anxiety. Kowal’s writing is evocative and compelling, to say the least.

Bill: This week I read Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 21, 2020

Jana: This week I read Nghi Vo’s novella The Empress of Salt and Fortune, which I loved, and Shea Ernshaw’s Winterwood, which I was much cooler on. (Though the winter setting helped ward off the spring-transitioning-to-summer heat I hate so much.) Next up, Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 14, 2020

Jana: This week I read Finna, a very slight novella (I’d call it a novelette) by Nino Cipri about love, queerness, anxiety, wormholes, and big-box capitalism. I wish it had been a longer read, but I can’t figure out where I wish Cipri had expanded it. I also read Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water, and discovered that Kelly and I had the same reactions to it, which was fun (and unsurprising).


Bill: This week I read When Jackals Storm the Walls Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 7, 2020

Jana: This week I read Sarah Beth Durst’s latest MG novel, Catalyst, which was so much fun and a perfect antidote for everything I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks. I also read Martha Wells’ latest entry in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series, Network Effect, which I absolutely enjoyed (and forced my hand on picking up a copy of the first book in the series, Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 31, 2020

Kat: I’m really busy with my job and am behind on my reviews. I’ll try to fix that this week. Finally I finished Time Patrol by Poul Anderson. Then I read Witchy Eye, an alternate American history fantasy by D.J. Butler. This was entertaining, but unnecessarily long. Not sure if I want to read the sequel, just due to the length. Reviews to come.


Bill: This week I read Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 24, 2020

Kat: I’m working my way through Poul Anderson’s Time Patrol. It’s a new audio edition that collects all the TIME PATROL stories. I’ve had company all week -- my boys are home from college -- but that’s not the only reason it’s taking me a while to get through this book...


Bill: This week I read David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue, which I absolutely loved; The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant, which was enjoyable but flawed; and The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman, which ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 17, 2020

Kat: It’s been two weeks since you heard from me and I’ve read several books and one short story. Here they are in the order I read them: Blood of the Heroes by Steve White, “Dave’s Head” by Suzanne Palmer, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 10, 2020

Marion: I’ve been mostly reading works in manuscript. I read the first Anna Pigeon mystery, The Track of the Cat, by Nevada Barr. These mysteries, set in various US National Parks, are beloved by many. To my great surprise, I wasn’t one of them. I’m keeping on with Sarah Pinsker’s A Song for A New Day, which is excellent but benefits in a weird way from current events, because she imagined a similar situation so precisely.


Bill: This week I finished grading student papers and so was finally able to read.  In genre, I finished Nevertell by Katharine Orton, a YA novel set in Stalinist Ru... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 3, 2020

Kat: Exam week, so I only got one book read: Providence by Max Barry. I didn’t like this as well as I hoped I would. Review coming soon.


Bill: Finals week so like Kat, not a lot of reading. I did finish Kingdom of Liars, a solid if at times problematic debut by Nick Martell. Outside of genre I continue my reread with my son (his first read) of Tony Hillerman's enjoyable Navajo mysteries, completing The Dark Wind.


Marion: I fi... Read More

Sunday Status Updates: April 26, 2020

Kat: I’ve read several books since my last update and I hope to get them reviewed soon. Here they are in the order I read them. A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne. The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu. The Last Human by Zack Jordan. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 19, 2020

Kat: I tried the first two novels in Charles E. Gannon’s CAINE RIORDAN series, Fire with Fire and Trial by Fire. I agree with Marion that they are too long and marred by a hero who is too good to be true. Fran Wilde’s Riverland, a finalist for... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 5, 2020

Jana: This week has been...well, you get the news, you know what it’s been like. Distracting, to say the least. I’m reading through Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s latest WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE novel, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home; it’s delightful and dark and very, very tense, so I’ve been taking my time with this one rather than just devouring it all at once.

Kat: Like Jana said, the news is distracting. Plus, I’m working from home and my teenage daughter is also home from school, so that’s distracting, too… But I did g... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 22, 2020

Kat: Well, I’m teaching online only until the end of August, and all other campus meetings have been cancelled, as well as three family trips and multiple concerts and other events. So, that should give me a lot more time for reading in the next few months. This past week I read three novels. A Heart of Blood and Ashes, by Milla Vane, was simply dreadful. It’s getting a DNF from me. The other two novels were by Frank Chadwick: How Dark the World Becomes, and its sequel, Come the Revolution. These were entertaining. Reviews of all these are coming soon.

Marion: I finished Premee Mohammad’s gothic horror nov... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 15, 2020

Bill:  This week I read Val Hall: The Even Years by Alma Alexander, The Book of Samson by David Maine, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renki and Big History by Paul Singh.

Marion: I read Genevieve Cogman’s sixth INVISIBLE LIBRARY novel, The Secret Chapter, which is, to some extent, a heist novel. I liked it. I am finishing up Read More