Sunday Status Update: June 23, 2019

Plenty more fun books this week!

Bill: This week my one full book was an excellent look at the use of remote sensing in science, Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past  by Sarah Parcak.  I made a second attempt at Tide of Stone by Kaaron Warren, but only got a bit more than a third of the way in before giving it up once more.  In shorter works, I took a look at several Hugo retro works: short stories by Asimov, Bradbury, and C.L. Moore, as well as a novella by Moore and husband Henry Kuttner, Clash by Night.  Finally,  I’ve almost finished This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar. In video, my son and I are a quarter of the way into season three of The X-Files.

JanaOnce again, it was a light-on-reading week for me, though I finished Ferrett Steinmetz’s The Sol Majestic (a thoroughly enjoyable examination of food and philosophy) and made progress in Mira Grant’s In the Shadow of Spindrift House, which is definitely Lovecraftian and Weird. The to-be-reviewed pile is about to topple over, but next week’s forecast tells me it’ll be a great time to hide from the Angry Bright Face in the Sky and get some writing done.

KatAfter finishing the Locus finalists, I am way behind on all the audiobooks I’ve been sent by various publishers, so I’ve started working on those. Mark Lawrence’s Limited Wish, the second book in his IMPOSSIBLE TIMES trilogy, was exciting and nostalgic but still has some of the plot issues we mentioned in our review of the first book, One Word Kill. But, that’s kind of expected in a story about time travel paradoxes. Mercedes Lackey’s Take a Thief tells the story of Skif, a popular character in her VALDEMAR saga. It was pleasant and it’s nice to get the backstory on Skif. John Varley’s The Ophiuchi Hotline (first book in his EIGHT WORLDS series) was full of interesting ideas but not completely satisfying. I read this because I’m about to start Steel Beach, the second EIGHT WORLDS novel. It was just released in audio format.

MarionI finished A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney, a book I immediately recommended to several different people; some writer friends on Twitter and a barista at my local coffee place among others. I hope to get it reviewed soon. It’s hard to review because it slips and glides between categories. I can say with relative confidence that it’s about art and inspiration; about outsiders and belonging. It’s a book that keeps skittering into my head at odd moments. Since finishing it I’ve started Alix E. Harrow’s gentle, beautiful fantasy The Ten Thousand Doors of January. I’m only about a third of the way in, but the story carries me along on a current of glimmering prose. And I want to know more about January, her wonderful dog, and those doors.

Tadiana: It’s been a few weeks since I updated, so here are the literary highlights: I read Natalie Tan’s Book of Love and Fortune by Roselle Lim, which was cute but not as substantial as I’d hoped; 1943’s The Magic Bed-Knob: Or How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons (nominated for a Retro Hugo) and 1947’s Bonfires and Broomsticks, the pair of middle grade novellas that make up Mary Norton’s BEDKNOB AND BROOMSTICK duology. I’ve started Laini Taylor‘s Night of Cake and Puppets, a cute and quirky YA romance with a dash of magic. I’m still working on Mostly Void, Partly Stars and A Sword Named Truth by Sherwood Smith (bogged down a little with both of those but haven’t given up). In non-speculative reads, I enjoyed Nevil Shute’s The Far Country, a novel set in post-WWII Australia and England. It’s engaging if a little dated and of its time (early 1950s), though my Goodreads buddy reading group is in agreement that it’s marred somewhat by a rushed ending.

TerryIn the past couple of weeks, I’ve finished Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker (good, but I have to say that all his narrators are starting to sound like the same person to me), The Dreaming: Pathways and Emanations, a reboot of the DC Vertigo SANDMAN series by Neil Gaiman, this one written by Simon Spurrier (and quite good, if not entirely coherent), and The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch (which has the same problem as the Parker — the German narrator has exactly the same tone as the British narrator of Aaronovitch’s other books in the RIVERS OF LONDON series). I’ve also started Black Helicopters by Caitlin R. Kiernan, which hasn’t captured me yet, and The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, which captured me from the very first page, and which I can’t wait to get back to.


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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, you’ve talked me into A SPECTRAL HUE. Sounds weird and wonderful.

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