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: 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 edging into m... 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.

Read More

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...

Read More

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 Scorpion Rules 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

Sunday Status Update: August 16, 2015

This week, Red Sonja encounters the concept of half-dragons.

Red Sonja: I met a woman who claimed to be a half-dragon the other day. She looked entirely human apart from purple eyes and hair that was a sort of mauve. I think she might also have had little horns, but they looked completely ornamental and she might have pasted them on. I thought she was probably just a bit odd-looking. But no, she said, she was a half-dragon. Understand that I didn't actually ask her. She volunteered this information herself. She made it sound very dramatic and world-weary. I asked her how. She asked me what I meant. I told her I was curious as to physically how. At that, she got a bit irritated and started telling me I have an overly cynical mind or something. I asked her what the hell use being half-dragon was if she couldn't fly or breathe fire, and she flounced off in a huff. You meet some weirdos in the pub, I t... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 9, 2015

Supergirl again. Original, I'm not.

Supergirl: So apparently Fantastic Four is awful. Take that, Richards, you dimension-hopping whackadoodle. That'll teach you. Who's the useless distaff counterpart now?

... all cards on the table, I have no idea what distaff means.

Brad: This week, in addition to a few random comics, some poetry, and nonfiction, I read short stories by Kage Baker (SF), Flora Fletcher (Crime Fiction), Gene Wolfe (SF), and John Cheever (neither SF nor Crime Fiction). I also started Kage Baker's first Company novel (my second attempt) on audible, now that I've finished the audible version of Paper Towns. Finally, I'm... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 2, 2015

This week, Frodo fields a question about technological advancement in Middle Earth.

Frodo: Someone asked me the other day why it is that Hobbits have things like clocks and umbrellas. Apparently he was very surprised at the sight of them, and hinted that even the most inventive dwarven craftsmen did not appear to have come up with things like that yet. How then, he asked, had Hobbits come up with such things when they are not known for their industry? Well, perhaps we aren't famed as a people for building things bigger and better all over the place, but that doesn't mean we'll have no progress at all. Honestly, Gondorians: it's been thousands of years, and Aragorn's sword is still cutting-edge (ha!). Time to start paying inventors again.

Jana: This week I made some progress in ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 26, 2015

This week, Ron Weasley (circa 1995 or thereabouts).

Ron: Y'know, something's just occurred to me. Aurors finally showed up at the school this year. I suppose it makes sense with what's been going on (dark wizard catchers for dark wizards), but it does make you wonder where they've been all this time, doesn't it? What about the second year, when students were being attacked by a mysterious monster in the corridors, and my sister got dragged into the Chamber of Secrets? Would've been nice to've had an auror or two right about then. Or that time we thought a convicted murderer was trying to slit Harry's throat. Sounds like a job for an auror to me. I'm just saying. What, were they on strike or something? Guess I'll ask dad...

Jana: My reading pace has slowed to a crawl this week, but! I'm getting much better organi... Read More

Sunday Status Updates: July 19th, 2015

Tim's off this week, but the updates continue.

Bill:I've been traveling out west for those past three weeks, so not a lot of reading and I've missed some status reports. But in that time I did finish up:

The Book of speculation by Erika Swyler, which fell a little flat despite promising elements
Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola and illustrated by Emily Carrol, a relatively weak MG/YA graphic
The Adventures of Basil and Moebius Vol 2, by Ryan Schifrin and Larry Hama: another graphic, relatively uninspiring and even a bit dull, though solid enough I suppose
On the Origin of Superheroes by Chris G... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 12, 2015

We’d like to introduce and welcome our newest reviewer, Tadiana Jones. You can read about Tadiana and learn about her reading tastes on her reviewer page. Welcome, Tadiana!

Brad: This week I read The Divine, an excellent comic by Boaz Lavie, Asaf Hanuka, and Tomer Hanuka. See yesterday’s review. I also read Mark Millar’s fast-paced and fun MPH, a five-issue standalone trade collection that’s going to make a fun movie in the not-too-far future (Most of Millar’s books end up as movies, and Marvel’s Avengers movie Universe is partly based on Millar’s work The Ultimates). On audible, I’m listening to Rachel Pollack’s Godmother Night. Finally, I’m reading too many book... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 5, 2015

On the road again this week, so character update is on break.

Brad: This week I read and reviewed the first volume of The Tarot Cafe by Sang-Sun Park. I’ve also been reading some short stories by Harlan Ellison (it seems like I’m always finding my way back to his short stories). I’m also reading The Greater Trumps by Charles Williams, because I’ll read just about anything that involves tarot cards! In comics, I’ve just started Batman Eternal, a recently-ended weekly series put out by DC. I’m also enjoying some old Dr. Fate comics, too. Rachel Pollack has been teaching me about Tarot cards through several of her works, including Tarot Wisdom. And I’ve been greatly moved by Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 28, 2015

Today, Supergirl's back for the first time in a while. Yeah, I had no other ideas, so we're going to fall back on mocking superhero costumes.

Supergirl: Apparently, while I was looking the other way, everyone got a new costume from somewhere or other. Superman is in jeans and a t-shirt, Batgirl's in a caped tracksuit, and even Wonder Woman has traded in that idiotic bustier for some kind of pauldroned weirdness. I'm sure someone'll get to redesigning my look soon too. No more dumb Kryptonian cheerleader outfit. We're on top of this, right? Uh... right?

J... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 21, 2015

Character update is on break this week.

João: Not much reading done this week, mostly due to this being the last two weeks of this semester and me studying for five exams all at the same time, and because the book I am reading is Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which so far has been somewhat of a bore. Maybe this isn't the right time to tackle this book, and I knew it would be a slow read from the start, and yes, it doesn't help that the first 300 pages are about a character who is designed to be as boring as anyone can be, but I will still keep on moving forward because I want to be able to form my own opinion of this one based on my reading of it all. Maybe now that Strange is appearing it will get more interesting.

Kat: My kids are on summer vacation, so my daughter and I had some time to listen to a coupl... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 14, 2015

This week, Sir Bors reflects on the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Bors: So Gawain finally got back from that stupid business with the green knight who can reattach his head. Yes, I'm as surprised as everyone else. Though really, it was his own fault. Everyone else knew enough not to get mixed up with a bright green man whose idea of an after-dinner game was a beheading contest. At first we were all eager to learn how he'd survived, but then we saw he was wearing a bright green garter. I think we all decided on the spot that we could live with ignorance.

Jana: I haven't had a lot of time to read -- I've been busy with projects around the house. Painting, landscaping, electrical work, etc. I did mange to finish Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds, and read through The Library at... Read More