Sunday Status Update: July 28, 2019

Jana: This week I finished Mercedes Lackey’s The Hills Have Spies and jumped right into its sequel, Eye Spy; I’m enjoying the FAMILY SPIES series more than I expected, though it has more of a retro-genre feel than I tend to seek out on my own. Adolescent Me would have loved this series, to be sure. I also had the pleasure of reading our own Marion Deeds’ recently-published novella, Aluminum Leaves, and will be reviewing it for Fantasy Literature soon! Huzzah!

Kat: I’m reading some of the Retro Hugo finalists. I really liked Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game, but I can see why others would find it dry. I re-read H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and Fritz Lieber’s “Thieves’ House.” Then I moved on to a couple of audiobooks that I recently received from publishers. Tanith Lee’s Electric Forest was a little disappointing. Ted Chiang’s Exhalation: Stories, however, is probably the best thing I’ve read all year.

Kelly: I’m trying to read my way through my precariously tall TBR pile (not to mention my Kindle TBR pile). This week I read Charles de Lint’s Yarrow. It’s very early de Lint and not my favorite book of his that I’ve read. Now, I’m starting two books that are very different from each other: Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older and The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. Marion liked them both, so my hopes are high!

Marion: I’m about halfway through Malka Older’s State Tectonics. A curious “tourist handout,” anomalous campaign ads showing up in areas where they don’t belong and a tunnel all twine together to provide another twisty plot in the final CENTENAL book.

Tadiana: It’s been about three weeks since I reported in here (I’d hang my head in shame but that doesn’t seem to make me change my ways). I’ve read some great books lately: Alix Harrow’s soon-to-be-published portal fantasy The Ten Thousand Doors of January was truly excellent. Jay Kristoff’s YA SF dystopian novel DEV1AT3 was a surprising step up from the first book in this LIFELIKE series. Aliette de Bodard’s novella The Citadel of Weeping Pearls (review coming soon) is a beautifully written, melancholic space opera mystery set in her wonderful Xuya universe. I also read A Sword Named Truth by Sherwood Smith (epic fantasy), Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews (space vampires!), and one of Kate Morton’s historical mystery novels, The Lake House, which was a fun change of pace. I’m currently reading Sam Kean’s latest non-fiction book, The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb.

Terry: I’m still living with Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X and having a grand time — this vacation from SF/F/H is probably good for my soul! I finished The Nowhere Man and immediately jumped into Hellbent. Now I’ve finished that and read the two short stories that accompany the series, “Buy a Bullet” and “The Intern,” and launched into Out of the Dark. Next up: Don’t Look Back. These definitely strain a reader’s credulity, but if you can suspend disbelief for long enough to get through them (which doesn’t take long — these practically read themselves), you’ll have a grand time. Once I’ve finished these, I should be able to coax myself back into an epic fantasy or two.


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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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4 comments

  1. Jana; Eeeeek!
    Kelly: I thought in YARROW de Lint opened up some of the themes he embraces later on. It wasn’t one of my favorites either.

  2. @Marion, yes, exactly! I feel like I can catch a glimpse of his later work through the trees, as it were. But I’d recommend, say, Memory and Dream over it for sure.

  3. Oops! Don’t Look Back isn’t the next Orphan X novel; it’s a stand-alone, of which Hurwitz has many. The next Orphan X novel is Into the Fire, which will be out in January.

  4. Jana – I felt the same about the Family of Spies series! So glad I am not alone. Really liked it a lot, tho.

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