Sunday Status Update: July 24, 2016

This week, Kvothe, with minor spoilers from The Wise Man’s Fear.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kvothe: This week, I brought all that money from the bandits back to Maer Alveron. Quite a triumphant return, except for the part where I was clapped in irons and jailed. It turns out that when I basically fled the country for a month with the tax revenue for a large part of Vintas, the Maer assumed the worst. Which is… uh… yeah, okay, even I have to admit that in retrospect that’s not an unreasonable reaction. I tried to explain how I had to go off and learn martial arts, but nobody seemed particularly impressed for some reason.

Brad: This week I’ve enjoyed some great books recently recommended to me by Sandy, Marion, and Bill. I’m halfway through Witch World by Andre Norton (Sandy), and I listened to the first FLAT EARTH novel by Tanith Lee (Marion). Yesterday I finished listening to the first GENTLEMAN BASTARDS novel by Scott Lynch (Bill). Both audio books had great narrators, but I was particularly impressed by the narrator of the Scott Lynch novel. Last week, I listened to the excellent Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson and read Sanderson’s Alloy of Law, a followup to the MISTBORN series.

Jana: This week I’ve been busy, but this time (and to my great joy), with reading! I was able to knock out reviews for the Jacob Weisman-edited anthology Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature and Jon Hollins‘s The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold, both of which I enjoyed quite a bit. I read two works of fiction from relative newcomer Caighlan Smith: a short story on Tor.com called “The Weather,” which I’ll review for SFM, and her upcoming YA novel Children of Icarus. I started Levi Black’s Red Right Hand, a brilliant modern take on the Lovecraftian mythos, and Urban Allies, an anthology of collaborative urban fantasy stories edited by Joseph Nassise. Hopefully this hot streak will continue and I’ll be able to keep at this level of productivity for at least a little while longer.

Ryan: This week, I began reading Neal Stephenson‘s Some Remarks, which collects shorter essays and stories by him. So far, I’m enjoying it. I’m also making my way through Kim Stanley Robinson‘s Green Mars, which has begun to pick up (after 200 pages).

Stuart: In the last two weeks I finished The Shadowed Sun, the second book of  N.K. Jemisin‘s DREAMBLOOD duology, which takes up the story ten years later but shifts the focus to new characters and settings. I want to read her INHERITANCE trilogy soon, but first I went for large-canvas space opera with Vernor Vinge‘s 1993 Hugo Winner A Fire Upon the Deep. I was expecting to like it more than I did – despite all the far-future technology and galactic backdrop, the plot and characters felt a bit flat and old-fashioned. But I’ll still read the prequel A Deepness in the Sky, since it won the 2000 Hugo Award. In comics, I’ve made steady progress through the SANDMAN series, having just finished Vol 10: The Wake. The artwork, story, and writing of this final volume were my favorite of the series. And I took a brief detour to breeze through Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga: Vol 6, in which the narrator Hazel turns 4 and becomes an active part of the story.

Tadiana: I’ve finally finished Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature collection. Bill and Jana beat me to the punch and have posted their reviews; They liked it somewhat better than I did, but I need to think about it a little more as I write my review. I finished (and reviewed, yay!) Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine, which was just published and has gotten a lot of buzz in the last couple of weeks, as well as Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg. I also read, but not yet reviewed, Vicious by V.E. Schwab, Storm Front by Jim Butcher (yes, I’m just starting that series), and a novel that will be published this next week, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, a tense science fiction thriller that really sucked me in. In the non-fiction category, I’m currently reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, a massive chunkster of a book that bodes well to take me a month or two to work through. For fluffy romance, I read Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer, a Cinderfella type of tale set in the Georgian period, when fashionable men wore makeup, wigs, lace and high heels!

Terry: I finished Awakenings by Edward Lazellari this week, and am eager to dive into the next in the series, The Lost Prince.  Awakenings isn’t a perfect novel, by any means, and has a lot of first novel problems, but the plot is propulsive enough to make me want that next book right quick.  I’m also reading The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, and finding that it has a very YA taste, though I don’t think it’s being marketed as YA.  I hope to resolve the dispute between Marion and Bill over whether the book is really good or not, but I’m not far enough into it to say yet.  Finally, I’m reading Against a Darkening Sky by Lauren B. Davis, which is skillfully written and, about a third of the way through, is setting up an enormous conflict that I’m eager to read about.  I’ve been getting distracted from reading by politics (which I’m both watching and reading about far more than is healthy for my blood pressure), as well as “Stranger Things,” a Netflix series that is seriously good, even if it did start up as a complete mash-up of various Stephen King stories and novels.  I’m looking forward to reading the criticism on “Stranger Things” and then adding my own two cents’ worth.  I’m trying not to binge on one episode after another, but it’s tough because it’s just so good!

Tim: This week I read Ellen Kushner‘s The Privilege of the Sword. Kushner remains a very elegant prose stylist, and her characterization is spot on, but she still has some plotting issues. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the RIVERSIDE books to those who want a firm, linear narrative, but they are intensely pretty.


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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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One comment

  1. If anyone can be the arbiter between Marion and Bill’s opinions, it’s Terry! :D

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