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: May 22, 2016

This week, Sir Bors gets just a touch sarcastic.

Bors: Sir Tristan toppled out a window the other day, or so the gossip-mongers tell me. The fall was evidently quite spectacular, and he ended it by landing in a grocer's cart, quite displacing the turnips. The event would have been amusing but ultimately inconsequential had not the grocer then looked up and calculated that Sir Tristan could only have fallen out of one particular window in the keep -- that window belonging to the bedroom of Queen Isolde. Naturally, King Mark had to pay a certain degree of attention to the scurrilous rumors that began to be whispered upon this revelation, and he questioned Sir Tristan most closely. Tristan admitted that he had indeed entered the queen's bedchamber, but had only done so at her chaste request, in order to kill a spider. Upon entering and being confronted by the arachnid menace, however, he was stricken by abhorrence... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 15, 2016

This week, Frodo.

Frodo: Still in the Mines of Moria. Legolas is becoming deeply annoying. He keeps rambling on about the beauty of the open woods and tragedy that led the races of Middle Earth to build in stone rather than gambol in the open glades, or something like that. Doesn't he live in a giant rock cave? Isn't that what Bilbo's book says? Anyway, every time Legolas starts in with his rhapsodizing about the trees and the stars, Gimli gets all defensive and starts pointing out the marvels of Moria craftsmanship. Oh wait, no, sorry. Craftsdwarfship. I am almost certain that is not actually a word, but Gimli is insisting we all use it, because otherwise we're appropriating his heritage. Every time he says it, Legolas starts going on about the thin skins of dwarves. I'm pretty sure one of them is going to be a murderer before long. If we're lucky, they'll do each ot... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 8, 2016

This week, Robin Hood. I got rather carried away. I really geek out over Robin Hood.

Robin: 'Twas a fine, fresh morning in our merry England, and the warm wind came riding through the eaves of Sherwood. And so I said to Little John and Allan-a-Dale and Will Stutely, "ah, marry, why sit we idle on so fine a day as this? Hie thee hence, my jolly blades, and fetch us back a guest for this evening's entertainment!" This they did with a good will, and ere long returned with a Norman knight caught on the King's road, for it is our custom to host a right jolly inn beneath the leaves of Sherwood, though perhaps the guest likes not the fee when it comes time to pay his due. This particular knight, however, tried a trick that even I've not heard before. "What is thy name, sweet chuck?" said I.

"Sir, I am Robin Hood."

"That is a merry trick, sir, seeing as ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 1, 2016

This week, Red Sonja addresses the subject of dragon-slaying.

Red Sonja: Why is it that you never run into a little dragon? I mean, they used to be fairly common, didn't they? Little terrier-sized and horse-sized dragons? Seems like it would be sensible to kill them at that age, before they can grow into monstrous barn-sized death machines that can carry off a cow in each claw and devastate the local economy just by being around. But no one ever seems to figure this out. They never go on dragon hunts to keep the population in check. No, they wait until it's so big its wings can shadow an entire castle, and it's got the royal riches for its horde and devoured or torched most of the villagers except for those omnipresent hollow-eyed minstrels plunking out gloomy dirges about claws like spears and wings of terror. Then, then, you come to me. You butter me up and you tell me what great thing... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 24, 2016

This week, Legolas is back.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3450347: So apparently we're now going to take the roads of the dead and attack the enemy fleet with a ghost army. Sounds fantastic, but it occurs to me to wonder why the enormous ghost army under the sole beck and call of Aragorn hasn't come up before now. It seems like the sort of thing one might mention. Or not. Who knows? No one ever gave me a ghost army. We don't pamper our royalty in Mirkwood. It's just grit and nerve and a good honest yew bow in the hand, and... damn it, I really want a ghost army.

Brad: This week I’ve been re-reading volume 9 of The Sandman, The Kindly Ones. I also read and finished volumes one and two of Roche Limit. Volume two was good, but it didn’t blow me away like volu... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 17, 2016

This week, Supergirl contemplates whether or not Kryptonians are dangerous to humanity.

Supergirl: This week everyone in the League was making a big deal about how Kal and Batman both had a mom named Martha. Seems like kind of a forced connection to me, but whatever floats your boat, guys. They also kept arguing about whether or not Kal was dangerous to humanity. He totally is, by the way. So am I. If either of us ever threw a punch at full speed and force, it would go off like a bomb and probably level the city. Remember that stretch of beach that mysteriously turned to glass a while back? Yeah, I got a spider on me. Honestly, why we live in an urban center, I have no idea.

Brad: This week, I re-read the first 20 issues of Gotham Ce... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 10, 2016

This week, we check in again with Ayesha, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, as she settles a dispute between her peoples in true Ayesha fashion.

Ayesha: Week 148,388. Still no Kallikrates. Wish he'd get a goddamned move on. I have no objection to a husband younger than myself, but... well. Granted, it seems that our life experience might end by being more or less commensurate. Nothing happened this week. Oh, except that rainstorm incident. One tribe came by, wanted rain for the crops. Whatever. Who cares. I dredged up a thunderstorm. Then another tribe came by and complained that the sacred hunt or what-have-you had been ruined by a colossal thunderstorm. I had no idea what a sacred hunt was. They apparently couldn't fathom this. We were just getting to the most tedious part of their whining when the first tribe showed up again to thank me, and there was a brawl right there in the throne roo... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 3, 2016

Character update on break this week, but we kept reading!

Jana: This week I read (and really enjoyed) Philip Reeve's latest YA science fiction novel, Railhead: it's full of fun Easter eggs and features sentient trains! Review to come shortly. I re-read "The Cage," by A.M. Dellamonica, which I'll review for SFM, and I started Daughters of Ruin, by K.D. Castner, a YA fantasy novel which follows four princesses who have been raised together though their home nations are at war. It'll be interesting to see what Castner does with the characters and their internal/external conflicts, especially since "YA princesses" is undeniably over-used as a trope and a genre.
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Sunday Status Update: March 27, 2016

Happy Easter from FanLit!

Basil Stag Hare: Well cheerio, and a Merry Easter to you! Basil Stag Hare, sirs, at your service! Ladies, doubly at yours, wot wot! I've a most beastly headache, but not all the trifling ailments on earth (or alements, as it were, ho ho!) could keep Basil Stag Hare abed today. I'm off to the old barn across the meadow, and thence by horse cart to Redwall Abbey, which has simply the best nosebag on a Sunday. Funny thing, but I do believe that horse and cart and that barn might just be the only examples of the kinds in all terra firma, as the learned chappies say. Certainly I've got a dashed funny feeling that no one will ever mention horses or barns again, even if the history of the world goes on long enough to fill another, oh, twenty books or so. But enough lollygagging, eh? It's to the abbey for me and every gentlebeast who's anybeast! Perhaps I'll see y... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 20, 2016

This week, Ron's back. This is happening right now, so what about Harry Potter and other countries, anyway?

Ron: Remember that time You-Know-Who took over Britain? Twice? I do. I just sometimes wonder if the rest of the world does. I mean, they certainly didn't seem to notice at the time. If you do the math, there should be about a million wizards worldwide. You-Know-Who had like two dozen blokes in masks. I mean, sure, he was scary, no doubts about that, but that's a pretty heavy weight of numbers. And since all the adults can apparate out of Britain if they like, it should've been impossible to keep his take-over a secret. Which means that all the wizards in the Americas, mainland Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pa... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 13, 2016

This week, philosophical ruminations from Ayesha, She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed, as she waits eternally for her lost love Kallikrates.

Ayesha: Week 148,386. More or less the same as week 148,385. Still no sign of Kallikrates. I believe I finally puzzled out the meaning behind human existence the other day. I've already forgotten what it was, though, so it mustn't have been very important. Taking as a given the presumptions that firstly I did indeed uncover an objective meaning for it all and secondly that it was in fact unimpressive, it follows that only in subjective experience can satisfaction be found. No external validation shall ever be accorded, and only by achievement of one's own purposes can one attain happiness. My purpose is to wait for Kallikrates. At least in the abstract. In the particular -- as regards this day, this week, this year -- my purpo... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 6, 2016

This week, Ron ponders the mystery of Hogwarts teachers.

Ron: Hermione said a funny thing the other day. I was complaining about the unholy length of McGonagall's essay assignment (as any sane person would), and Hermione was defending her as per usual. Anyway, this time she was trying to make out like McGonagall was doing us a favor asking for a long essay. "The teachers have lives too, you know," she said. "They don't have to grade long papers." And that sounds good and all, but... do they? I hadn't heard about it. They all seem to live at the school, and I don't ever hear of them having spouses or kids or anything. And it's not like you can just apparate out to London for a pint with your mates whenever you like, because there's no apparition on castle grounds and half the time we seem to locked in here by dementors or whatever. So they're basically stuck here with us and their onl... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 28, 2016

This week, Sir Lancelot gets involved in someone else's love life. Apparently not having enough on his own romantic plate. As always, his long-suffering cousin Sir Bors chronicles.

Bors: It's been a big week for Sir Tristan. After all the years of interventions and histrionics, he finally married someone who wasn't Isolde. Well, actually, she was an Isolde, just not "toxic ex-girlfriend married to your uncle but still keeps dropping by" Isolde. Yes, admittedly it looks a little creepy that his wife has the same name as his ex. But if you knew him as I do, you'd say any change is good change. Everyone was happy for him. Even the king took an interest. It was one of the few truly positive things to have happened of late.

So, obviously, my cousin couldn't let that stand. We'd made sure he wouldn't be around for the event, but when he got wind of it he apparently went mad with rage... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 21, 2016

This week, Supergirl's rigorous fitness regimen.

Supergirl: I like other superheroes. Some of them, anyway. But it's always awkward to hang out with them for too long. The other day I ate lunch with Stargirl and Batgirl (because according to them I spend more time hiding in my cave than Batman, which I think is incredibly unfair). Anyway, somehow we got on the subject of exercise, and they spent like half an hour talking about workout routines and gymnastics practice. They're hardcore about it. Which left me in the awkward position of trying to make lazing in a sunbeam and growing super-muscles seem really tough and aggravating. I think I dug myself into a bit of a hole, because Batgirl started stabbing her little low-fat salad like she was trying to crack the plate. Stargirl tried to smooth things over, and I think she might even have been making progress. Unfortunately, that was when my plate of barbecue r... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day! .

Queen of Hearts: Off with their heads! Off with all their heads! And that sort of thing. Why I'm the obligatory Valentine's Day reference, I really couldn't say. But it makes sense somehow. Probably has to do with mathematics. It all comes back to mathematics, don't you know.

Bill: This week I read Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh, the second in his SPADEMAN series. Not quite as good as book one, but still enjoyable. I also read The Letter and the Cosmos: How the Alphabet has Shaped the Western View of the World by Laurence de Looze, an interesting look at the formation and impact of the Western alphabet, and Robert Haas’ poetry coll... Read More

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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