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: February 7, 2016

This week, Drizzt fends off insult.

Drizzt: This week, whilst I was wandering in the wild with my most noble panther Guenhwyvar, I fell in with a traveling merchant of the dwarven race. Perceiving that he knew not with whom he traveled, I related some trifling history of my exploits. He said (and I quote, friends!) "oh, right, you're that cut-rate Aragorn guy." I couldn't fathom what might drive folk of the goodly races to so castigate one who has often been their succor in time of direst threat, and I told him so. He replied that I definitely looked like a succor, which mollified me until this evening, when I found the "kick me in my pompous ass" sign pinned to the back of my cloak. And I offered him naught but courtesy! Why do these things keep happening to me?

Still, at least I know now why all those people kept kicking me in the ass.

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Sunday Status Update: January 31, 2016

This week, Galadriel returns (largely due to the necessity of finding someone who didn't contribute to the charactextravaganza last week).

Galadriel: The other day, the Galadhrim sang a lament for Mithrandir's fall. It was really quite a lovely elegy, and contained a great many deeds I am not entirely sure he accomplished. Quite beautiful. Unfortunately, just as we were reaching one of the subtler portions, someone had the extreme poor grace to break wind. The singer was distracted and went briefly off-key. Needless to say, the entire ceremony was ruined. We are elves, after all. So ever since, accusations have been flying thick and fast. Practically everyone has come under suspicion. Except me, of course. None of them would dare. That being the case, I'm afraid the crime is doomed to remain forever unsolved. In retrospect, perhaps I did overindulge in the Dwarven cheeses.

No... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 24, 2016

This week, I messed up and the usual status update reminder e-mail did not go out. Apologies! This means that we have relatively few updates from our staff, but... well, you all know what few updates means...

Bors: This week, Lancelot sent word that he hath rescued a most fair damosel from an enchanted pool that bubbleth with heat. Nay, I jest not, 'tis what the missive said. My poltroon of a cousin outright told the king that his deeds amounted to rescuing pretty girls from hot tubs. Twas read out to all and sundry with the knightly deeds for the week. The only contribution for our family, I might add. Father is drinking again.

Conan: This week I had to leave the pirate profession, due to the ship sinking three miles offshore. Apparently that was a reef. Oh well. Just a good morning workout for a Cimmeri... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 17, 2016

This week, Supergirl realizes she's an illegal alien.

Supergirl: So, I don't really interact with modern society a lot. I don't have a job or anything. Don't need one. I sold Batman some of the tech from my ship a while back (before he decided he hated me for whatever reason), and he transferred some of his Scrooge McDuck fortune into an account under my name. So I have money, and I have an apartment, and occasionally I go out and punch someone and other people give me free stuff (seriously, I have like six crates of Vanilla Coke in my closet right now because I used a Coke machine to hit a villain once and it went on TV). Anyway, point is that I don't actually have much reason to engage with human culture. Mostly I just watch Netflix.

But the other day, someone knocked on my door and announced that I was an illegal alien. So I told him okay, and shut the door. But he kept coming back and sayi... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 10, 2016

This week, Captain Marvel addresses recent developments in her comics.

Captain Marvel: So it turns out we have an oracle in the Marvel Universe, and he has revealed things unto me, and all that. It seems we shall have another Civil War, because the last Civil War wasn't definitive enough. Once again Iron Man's on one side and this time I'll apparently be on the other. Naturally, the fight will be over the oracle, and whether we can use his super crime-predicting powers to more effectively stop villains from... wait, hold on. This is the plot to Minority Report. No. No, this is stupid. I'm not doing it. You can't make me.

*Sounds of conflict, objects breaking*

Whew. Huuuhhh. Gah. Phew. Okay. So... apparently the magic oracle say... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 3, 2016

This week, more Star Wars. Look, it was this or Galadriel again, and sweet Ilúvatar does she go on and on...

Rey: This week I haven't had time to read anything but my inbox, which is full of people telling me about how I'm definitely, positively, indubitably not a Mary-Sue. Whatever that means. Thanks, everyone, for what it's worth. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to save the galaxy. There's some sort of death laser/sun eater thing... ? I keep wondering how the First Order managed to build this thing without somebody noticing (or, you know, build it at all). You'd think someone would've torpedoed it before it became operational. But for some reason, no one but me seems to give a single hot damn about it.

The past two weeks, along with all the holiday hoopla, travel, and family interact... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 27, 2015

Characters all on break this week. Apparently they've formed a union.

Jana: This week I read (and had fun with) John Montroll's DC Super Heroes Origami, which was fun and ridiculously challenging. I started Daniel José Older's Half-Resurrection Blues, the first in his BONE STREET RUMBA series, to prep for the sequel, Midnight Taxi Tango (which comes out in early January). And I baked cookies, hung up pretty lights, and went for lots of walks in the snow, because those are my favorite things to do at this time of year. I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate, and that you're busy making up your New year's resolution lists.

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Sunday Status Update: December 20, 2015

This year, seasons' greetings are offered by that most non-denominational of solstice figures, a greek goddess in a Santa hat.

Wonder Woman: I would like to wish the world the very best of holiday cheer, from the island of Themyscira! As many of you may know, I am the ambassador for my home and my people, and in many ways I have come to your world for precisely this purpose: spreading the peace and togetherness and good fellowship for which my rigidly stratified military culture is famous. So, um... peace be upon you! Yay!

Jana: This week I've been busy with preparations for the upcoming Christmas holiday, but I made time to re-read Kirsty Logan's The Gracekeepers so that I could put together a mini-review ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 13, 2015

This week, Leia. Because Star Wars has engulfed popular culture for a week or two, and there's just no fighting the tides.

Princess Leia: So, finally got the story out of Luke once Lando and I got him back on the Falcon. Apparently he decided to get into a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader, the man who deflects blaster bolts with his open hand. How he thought this was feasible is largely beyond me. He keeps going on about how he's had all this training from some little swamp gnome or something, but come on. It's been a few days, tops. I didn't even change out of my Hoth clothes until yesterday. That is the crashiest of crash courses. Hell, if that's all it takes to become a Jedi, I'll do it. Sign me up with Master No-Duh. We'll do a correspondence course or something.

Bill: This week I reread The Sparrow Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 6, 2015

This week, Legolas.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3450029: Visited Isengard today. Very anticlimactic: it turned out the place had already been flooded, so there wasn't much to see and Saruman wouldn't come out of Orthanc. Couldn't even get anything at the gift shop, as most of it was underwater and what wasn't had already been thoroughly pilfered by Merry and Pippin. Oh, right, yes. We found Merry and Pippin, literally sitting on a mound of plunder. Apparently they didn't need us at all. Sort of an unsatisfactory day all around. On the upside, I met plenty of Ents, so the next time Galion from back home starts in on his "I have spoken with an Ent" humblebrag story, I've got my rebuttal ready and waiting. And guess what? It's an autograph from Treebeard, made out to "his friend, Legolas." That's right, Galion. Read it and weep.

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Sunday Status Update: November 29, 2015

This week, Sir Bors relates another masterpiece of plotting from the legends of King Arthur.

Bors: Today a damosel came to court. Not an unusual occurrence, save that this one came strutting right up to the king's throne and tossed off her cape and underneath she was girt with a sword. She said she didn't want to wear it -- in fact it caused her great inconvenience -- but she needed a noble knight to rid her of it. So the whole court tries to pull the damn sword out of its scabbard rather than just unbuckling it or cutting the belt, because apparently the whole court is made up complete morons. Eventually Sir Balin manages to pull the thing out, apparently liberating the damosel from the inconvenience of carrying it around. Yay? Only then the damosel wanted it back, because it would cause Balin an evil fate or some tosh. But Balin decided he was going to keep it, so the damosel fluttered off moaning a... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 22, 2015

This week, Kvothe grapples with some cognitive dissonance.

Kvothe: The other day, someone had the gall to insult the Edema Ruh in my presence. That is the one thing I... well, actually, that's one of the two... um. Starting again. That is one of the many and various things I cannot let pass without argument. So let me say it here and for all time: we Edema are not the thieves they make us out to be. We are innocent performers. We follow songs and stories across the world, and if ever we steal, our plunder is measured only in hearts and in minds. Well, except for me. I steal things all the time. I think I might have a problem, actually. But that doesn't count as a black mark against the Ruh, of course, because... becauuuuse... uh...

... uh oh.

Bill: This week is finally e... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 15, 2015

This week, the semi-triumphant return of Drizzt Do'Urden.

Drizzt: The other day, I sought solace from my lonely road at the camp of some few other wanderers. As the night wore on, we told tales of our lives, and I made my own modest contribution, relating somewhat of that dire event the poets have been pleased to dub the Time of Troubles. But ere I was half-done, some traveling player had the unmitigated gall to inform me that the epic tragedy of my life sounded "kinda silly." I was much offended, friends, as you might well imagine, for nobly though I have striven to bear up beneath the ponderous weight of my various dire afflictions, still there are days when the travails to which these violet eyes have born mute witness do weigh most dolefully upon my secret heart! I questioned this impertinent troubadour further. Perhaps he had meant only to lionize those carefree hours I have spent in jo... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 8, 2015

This week, Ron swings at some low-hanging fruit.

Ron: Y'know, it's funny how when you really think about it, a lot of You-Know-Who's plans seem awfully... dreadful. I mean, apparently he spent a whole year possessing the back of Professor Quirrell's head. That seems bloody uncomfortable. What happened to You-Know-Who if Quirrell decided to roll over onto his back while he was asleep? Not a very dramatic end for a dark lord, is it? Smothered by a pillow and some snoring git? Then there was that whole business with the goblet of fire, because apparently they had to get Harry all the way through the Triwizard Tournament to touch the portkey cup. Only, wouldn't it have been easier for fake-Professor Moody to just sneak up to Gryffindor tower and make a set of Harry's underwear into the portkey? You-Know-Who would've had him before the first week of term was out, and he'd probably have caught him fr... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 1, 2015

This week, Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud. Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!

Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud: Greetings! I am Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, a businessman of All Hallow's Eve. I peddle in many things. In the living, and in the dead. So many pumpkins dangle from the Halloween Tree, and each pumpkin has a tale to tell, of a life lived... and lost. Does it not sound ghoulish? Does it not sound eerie? Does it not raise your hackles and entice your interest? Excellent, because in fact I also peddle in information about the history of Halloween in various cultures. You see, you thought I was merely a thinly-disguised version of Grim Reaper, but now that you've been lured into my trap by promises of chills and thrills, I can reveal my true form: a history teacher! It was educational all along! Ha HA! And people say I can't frighten children.

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Sunday Status Update: October 25, 2015

This week, Galadriel's back and thoroughly bored with an eternal forest of breathtaking beauty.

Galadriel: Another week gone. They do seem to just blur by after you get into your 1200s or so. Caras Galadhon is exactly the same as ever. Exactly. Same people, same scenery, and if Celeborn tries to bring up changing the name of the forest back to Laurelindórenan one more time, I will shove him right off into empty air. Which I could do quite easily, actually -- it occurs to me that we might have more guests if we installed some manner of handrails up here. Hm. Maybe I'll bring that up. Everyone will probably be horrified, but that will be amusing too, in its way.

Bill: Another slow reading week thanks to work and writing responsibilities. I did manage to read City of Stairs by Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 18, 2015

This week, the long-awaited return of Sir Bors de Gannis! Well, that is, I'm sure someone was waiting for it. 

Bors: It finally happened. No, let me explain. It was a feastday today, and on such days 'tis the custom of our good king that when we have all sat to table, none of us shall partake of the feast until some adventure has befallen us. It has oft proved a goodly custom, but tonight no adventure befell us. We waited and we waited. Hours passed us by. The door never opened. No oddly-colored knight arrived to challenge us. No venerable prior appeared at the table to prophesy. I confess that I began to suffer greatly for hunger, and each time my stomach growled that insufferable zealot Perceval started telling me of the benefits of fasting upon the immortal soul. By the fourth hour, I had half a mind to send him to his beloved Almighty so they might discuss the matter more expeditiously.... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 11, 2015

This week, Red Sonja comments on her freshly redesigned costume.

Red Sonja: Well, that's done it. I have officially laughed along with the last "chain-mail brassiere" joke I am willing to bear. I've decided to upgrade. Conan's doing pants now too (even a shirt once in a while, when he can bear to cover over his beloved pecs), so it's not like the fad's still going strong or anything. Yes. I'm doing this. I'm getting older and wiser and more prag... pragtical? Whatever. I am going to go straight to the armorer and buy as much extra chainmail as I can afford!

Later: So, yeah, good news and bad news. The bad news is that the prices of chain mail have gotten ridiculous in the last few years. So my chain-mail bra is now sort of a chain-mail... jerkin. Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 4, 2015

This week, Kvothe.

Kvothe: Ordinary week at the Waystone Inn. I poured drinks and washed glasses, shucked ears of corn and grilled steaks. I wiped the bar and fed the fire and dusted the mantel and slid ever closer to the collapse of my identity and the final ruin of my life's ambitions. You know. Same old, same old. There was one piece of interesting news this week, mind you. Apparently my story is going to be adapted into some kind of multimedia entertainment event, which Bast assures me is very prestigious. Apparently I'm going to be a play, and a sort of long-form serial, and also a game. I have no idea how they'll manage all that, seeing as most of what I recall is just me messing around at the University, but whatever the public wants, I suppose...

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Sunday Status Update: September 27, 2015

Character update is on break this week.

Bill: With the onslaught of my first group of first-years’ papers, not a lot of reading this past week (or probably next). I did manage to zip through Brandon Sanderson’s new MISTBORN novel, Shadows of Self. I also read Laura Clarke’s collection of poems Decline of the Animal Kingdom. And I’m working through Steven Erikson’s novella The Healthy Dead for’s reread.

Jana: This week I finished Erin Bow's The Scor... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 20, 2015

This week, Supergirl again.

Supergirl: So, back in the saddle again this week after my latest exile to the Fortress (when some of us have to sneeze, we just have to sneeze, Kal, and inconveniently placed sailboats be damned). Not a bad week to ease back into the swing of things -- I stopped a robbery, I delivered some medicine, and Green Lantern (who I think felt sorry for me for whatever reason) put me in touch with an urban renewal group who wanted a building demolished. Most fun I've had all year. Then Saturday came along, and I had nothing else to do so I just flew on over to Gotham and kind of stopped the crime. Like, you know, all of it. Seriously, the heaviest hitter they have is some mexican wrestler-guy who can lift a car. I could probably lift a football stadium, so... you know. Anyway, turns out that was a big no-no, because all four gajillion Batgirls and Robins have been messaging me a... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 13, 2015

This week, Peter Pan encounters the 21st century. 

Peter: I'm not happy. Not happy at all. I flew back to London and I went to find this generation's Wendy (whose actual and proper name, it turns out, is Riley. I thought that was a surname, then someone told me it's a boy's name. Now it's a girl's name. It's strange). At first she was going to come with me, but then she asked me if she could get cell phone reception. I didn't know, so she asked me if I had ever seen a cell phone tower in Neverland. Apparently she couldn't go if she couldn't use her phone. I don't even know what a cell phone tower is, and I don't see what's so wonderful about a phone. She showed me this game she had where you chopped up fruit with your finger. I told her in Neverland you could chop it up with a sword, and fight indians besides. She told me I ought to call them First Peoples. So I tried to tell her about h... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 6, 2015

This week, Argus Filch addresses the (somewhat horrifying) fact that Harry Potter's son has just begun school at Hogwarts. Yep, September 2015. This is it.

Argus: Caught the Potter boy trying to force his way into a secret passage yesterday. Was ten minutes into telling him off before it occurred to me that this was actually the second Potter boy, the son of that other one, the famous one. It had all come back to me like it was yesterday, all the tellings-off I gave the father, and now it turns out I lost track of things and forgot how much time had passed. But of course now we've got the son in the school, befouling the corridors and whatnot. S'pose that means his old man's all grown and doing something with his life and all. God, I feel old.

Brad: This week I've been reading The Wounded Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 30, 2015

This week, Legolas gives us an insider's view of Helm's Deep.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3450023: Still in Helm's Deep. Morale is low, so Aragorn's been strutting around all day doing that thing he does where he suddenly comes over all kingly and every human in the vicinity trips over him- or herself to kowtow to him. Personally, I don't understand the reactions at all. He just sort of squints into the middle distance, sticks his chin in the air, and puffs his chest out. It's not really that impressive. But these yokels seem to love it, so whatever. Meanwhile, word has arrived that the army heading this way is even bigger than we expected, and Mithrandir has managed to cunningly slip out of harm's way by muttering vague and wizardly-sounding things about three days and dawn. The one spot of good news is that Gimli's similarly lily-livered efforts to  sneak off the battlements and "marve... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 23, 2015

Character update on break this week. I tried asking Rand al'Thor for a submission, but he wrote back with a ten thousand word diary entry in which nothing actually seemed to happen.

Jana: This week I made progress with Hilary Badger's State of Grace and began Bradley P. Beaulieu's Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, the first in a new epic fantasy series. I was also able to write and post two reviews (with Tadiana's help!), so I feel extra-accomplished. The weather's been really reasonable, too, so I've been spending a lot of time outside, exploring the trails system around the city. Knowing my luck, since this past week was so productive for me, I'll wake up with pneumonia on Monday Read More