Sunday Status Updates: February 21, 2021

Jana: This week I read Everina Maxwell’s debut novel Winter’s Orbit, a sweet and fluffy romance that also weaves in some truly interesting space-opera elements. (Review in progress.) I have a few novellas that I need to catch up on so I can add my thoughts to existing reviews, and in non-FanLit reading, I’m making progress on Lucille Ball’s autobiography. What a truly fascinating life she led!

Bill: Yep–lots of school reading as with others. But since my last status, I did read:
Copper Road by our very own Marion, which left me eagerly looking forward to the sequel
A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine: an excellent follow-up in this richly imagined world
The Conductors by Nicole Glover, a disappointing historical fantasy/mystery
The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science by Seb Falk:  less broad than expected and a bit deep into the weeds but still interesting
In TV, I’m enjoying all the genre and genre-adjacent shows I’m watching currently: WandaVision — continues to both open up and darken; Resident Alien — Alan Tudyk is perfect in the role; Dickinsonlove its lack of boundaries. And I just rewatched another of my all-time favorite films, Wings of Desire

Kat: I’m still so busy this semester that I am struggling to find time to read anything but academic stuff, but I did manage to read one book since you heard from me last. It’s Peter F. Hamilton’s A Hole in the Sky, the first in his ARKSHIP trilogy. It comes out next month, at least in audio format. It was pleasant but not fabulous. I’ll probably continue with the series.

Kelly: I’ve been swamped with some decidedly un-fantasy reading for my senior project, but this week Tadiana, Jana, and I finished our joint review of Sarah Gailey’s The Echo Wife, and now I’m reading the middle-grade novel The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold. It’s utterly charming while also dealing with some serious real-world issues.

Marion: I finished up The Planetbreaker’s Son, a collection of work by Nick Mamatas published by PM Press. The title novella rewards a second reading, but my favorite piece in the book was the essay “the Term Paper Artist.” I’ve started Alaya Dawn Johnson’s fantasy Trouble the Saints. So far it’s dark, magical and riveting.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading still another recent release from Armchair Fiction’s ongoing Lost World/Lost Race series, this one being S. P. Meek’s Troyana (1932). This book happens to be the sequel to Meek’s 1930 offering The Drums of Tapajos, which I was not overly fond of. But hope springs eternal, as they say, and I am indeed hoping that things will improve with the conclusion to this Brazilian lost-world story. I look forward to getting back to you with some thoughts on this one shortly….

Terry: I finally finished The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick, which took me so long not because it’s bad, but because it’s long and I was distracted. There’s no doubt, though, that it’ll be on my list of best books of the year, and I am looking forward to the sequel, which, alas, is likely to be at least a year away. The worldbuilding in this book is extraordinary. I also finished Empire of Wild by First Nations author Cherie Dimaline, which was also excellent. My review of this one will go up soon. Now I’m enmeshed in Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews, the first in a new series following the KATE DANIELS series. It features Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran’s ward, as the narrator. It moves fast, and is very enjoyable.

Tim: I join a few others this week in being pretty swamped with academic reading, but I did reread a book from my childhood: Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn. I haven’t read a Star Wars novel in years, but this one was a fun blast from the past.


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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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7 comments

  1. Terry, the sequel to The Mask of Mirrors might be out in less than a year. I have November, 2021 in my head for some reason.

  2. Kelly Lasiter /

    Jana, I feel like I’ve been hearing good things about Winter’s Orbit from all corners lately. I’m going to have to check it out.

    • Jana Nyman /

      It’s definitely not the kind of book I normally seek out, but based on this experience, that may have to change.

  3. I gobbled up Winter’s Orbit, managed to find a copy of the fanfic it’s expanded from (due to the kindness of a stranger), and read the approximately 20 fanfics written about it on ao3. I haven’t done a compare and contrast yet between The Course of Honour and Winter’s Orbit. The author has said that it’s mostly expanding the worldbuilding.

    • Jana Nyman /

      That’s interesting! I’ll have to do a little of that research, myself. Thanks for the tip!

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