Sunday Status Update: July 5, 2015

On the road again this week, so character update is on break.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Brad: This week I read and reviewed the first volume of The Tarot Cafe by Sang-Sun Park. I’ve also been reading some short stories by Harlan Ellison (it seems like I’m always finding my way back to his short stories). I’m also reading The Greater Trumps by Charles Williams, because I’ll read just about anything that involves tarot cards! In comics, I’ve just started Batman Eternal, a recently-ended weekly series put out by DC. I’m also enjoying some old Dr. Fate comics, too. Rachel Pollack has been teaching me about Tarot cards through several of her works, including Tarot Wisdom. And I’ve been greatly moved by Ursula K. Le Guin’s translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I got a lot of reading done this week, and most of it was quite enjoyable. I read the latest installment in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES series, Spellcasting in Silk. It was a good story, but the best part was the narration by Xe Sands. My review will go up tomorrow and I’ll have an interview with Xe on Tuesday. I have finally started reading John Flanagan’s RANGER’S APPRENTICE saga, which has been on my TBR list for years. I remember one of my sons enjoying it when he was younger. So far it’s exciting and adventurous with great characters. I’ve read the first three books: The Ruins of Gorlan, The Burning Bridge, and The Icebound Land. The only book I read this week that I didn’t like was Catherine Asaro’s Nebula-winning novel The Quantum Rose. I hate to do this, but I’m thinking of giving up on the SKOLIAN EMPIRE series. I own most of them in audio format, but this weird blend of science fiction and romance just isn’t doing it for me.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I can’t remember if I mentioned that I was reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, (aka J.K. Rowling), the second in her mystery series. The best thing about this series is the deepening relationship between Galbraith’s detective, Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin. This book uses Jacobean revenge tragedies as a framework, and it’s quite well done. These adult books have a dark, cynical tone and a real edge to them. I’m also nearly finished with the short story collection Beginnings, which is set in David Weber’s “Honorverse.” There are four stories and one short novel (over 100 pages); three are by guest writers and two by Weber. Several do not feature Honor Harrington, and I can’t tell you how much I wanted to write, “some stories are without Honor.”(Giggle.) As the title implies, these stories include Harrington’s forebears or the time period before she joins the Royal Manticoran Navy; one harks back to Old Earth and the beginning of colonization outside of our own solar system. It’s a mixed bag, but I’ve enjoyed a couple of them very much.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: I just started Kim Stanley Robinson‘s 2312, which probably means that I’m about to start four or five shorter books to read while I work my way through it.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Sandy: Moi? Having just finished Edmond Hamilton’s space opera of 1949, The Star Kings, I am proceeding now on to a product of his wife, Leigh Brackett, aka The Queen of Space Opera. The book in question is The Starmen of Llyrdis (1952), which has immediately sucked me in … faster than a black hole….

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I’ve devoted a big chunk of my reading time this week to the Hugo-nominated novelettes, and I’ll have that column up on Monday. I’ve also started reading Rachel Caine‘s Ink and Bone, which wants to grab all my time and attention and not let me go (and hasn’t it been a year full of interesting books about books and libraries?). And because I’ve been enjoying “Orange is the New Black” television series, I’ve downloaded and am reading the book of the same title by Piper Kerman. It’s fun to note the similarities and differences between the two version of the story. I’m also still reading Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal, and still enjoying it.  And I’ve also got bookmarks in Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews and The Acolyte by Nick Cutter. In the meantime, I’m trying to get my Kindle into manageable order, as a part of trying to get my reading life in order, all of which is a tall order!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I read Richard Morgan‘s Altered Carbon. I quite enjoyed it, although I also found it bleak enough that I felt the need for something more colorful and easygoing. So I started on the first novel in the Steven Brust‘s VLAD TALTOS series, Jhereg. It’s fun so far, but if anything sometimes seems a little too light and breezy for the subject matter: our roguish protagonist was just told he’s the reincarnation of an ancient chaos sorcerer, and the revelation arrives with so little preamble or build-up that for an instant I thought it had to be a joke.


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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. Marion Deeds /

    Tim, I liked Altered Carbon the best of that series. I loved the hotel! It was certainly bleak,though.

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