Sunday Status Update: April 4, 2021

Jana: This week I read through the boxed set (novellas #1-4) of Martha WellsMURDERBOT DIARIES, which I loved, and have been contributing enthusiastic reactions to Tadiana and Kat’s reviews. I’m also midway through Sarah Beth Durst’s The Bone Maker, and am enjoying it tremendously so far. Durst has a really good handle on her middle-aged former heroes who are forced to revisit their greatest victory/failure and the trauma still affecting their lives, and I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

Bill: This week as I continue to work through papers I managed to finish Jeff VanderMeer’s thoughtful and often lyrical Hummingbird Salamander: A NovelI also read two collections of poetry:  Jericho Brown’s  often powerful The Tradition and Tracy K. Smith’s excellent Wade in the Water. Favorite line from Brown: I trust the maggots/Who live beneath the floorboards/Of my house to do what they must/To any carcass more than I trust/An officer of the law of the land/To shut my eyes like a man/Of God might, or to cover me with a sheet/So clean my mother could have used it/To tuck me in.

Marion: I’m finishing up Daughters of Kobani  by Gail Tzemach Lemmon, a nonfiction account of Kurdish women warriors in the fight against ISIS. It’s inspiring, and as a fantasy writer, I recommend it as research material for anyone who is planning to develop a rebel woman warrior character. The women Lemmon profiles are, in many ways, regular people, and Lemmon depicts their humanity as well as their courage and strength.

Sandy: Moi? Having recently finished two books by mathematician and sometimes sci-fi author John Taine, Before the Dawn (1934) and The Forbidden Garden (1947), I have just started reading a third. The book in question combines two of Taine’s novellas into one volume and is entitled The Cosmic Geoids and One Other. I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on the original 1949 hardcover and look forward to sharing some thoughts on this one with you all very shortly….

Terry: I’ve been on a bit of a short fiction kick lately, from short stories to novellas. I finished the March issue of Lightspeed, especially notable for Adam-Troy Castro’s piece, “And Now, A Preview of Coming Attractions,” an absorbing meditation on death and what comes after. I enjoyed Martha Wells’s newest MURDERBOT novella, Fugitive Telemetry.  And I liked John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher: Murder By Other Means. If there’s any author who has a distinctive voice, it’s Scalzi. Now I’m back to being thoroughly absorbed in The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey, which I expect to finish today. After that? Who knows?


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TIM SCHEIDLER, who's been with us since June 2011, holds a Master's Degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing music, writing in any shape or form, and pretending he's an athlete.

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