Sunday Status Update: March 16, 2014

And Oin makes another unpleasant discovery.

Oin: So apparently, while no one was looking, Bilbo took an entire chest of gold and another entire chest of silver, in addition to that armour which was basically priceless. Little bugger fleeced us blind. A burglar indeed! King Dain’s already been asking awkward questions…

Bill: This was a somewhat eclectic week. I read an examination of women in cartography (looking at their role beginning back in the 16th century and moving forward to today) entitled Map Worlds by Will C. van den HoonaardLast Ape Standingby Chip Walter, which traces the past seven million years of human evolution; Plague Seed (well, 20% of it) a fantasy novel by Wade Alan Steele; a great old YA novel I read with my 11-yr-old—Deathwatch, by Robb White; and Jo Walton’s collection of her blog posts on rereading, What Makes This Book So Great. And, as always for the past few years, I’m continuing with the reread of Steven Erikson’s MALAZAN series over at Tor.com, where we’ve reached Dust of Dreams, the penultimate book in the series.

Brad: This week I’ve been listening to one of my favorite novels: The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham. I’ve also been rereading Terry Moore‘s Strangers in Paradise, a lengthy comic book series that blends the romance drama with a mafia story. I also reread Jack Vance‘s brilliant story “The Moon Moth,” but this time I read it as The Moon Moth, a graphic novel adaptation by Humayoun Ibrahim (see this week’s Fanboy Friday review). As I approach midlife (I’m 43), I find I enjoy more than I ever have before rereading slowly and with greater patience all my favorite books I rushed through over the past twenty-five years (I became a very serious, passionate reader around the age of 17). This time through The Razor’s Edge, for example, though I’m still fascinated the most by young Larry, I am much more emotionally touched by the older characters than I was when I read the novel in my twenties (which I did twice). Back then, I think I skimmed through the sections about the “old people,” as I’m sure I must have thought of them!

Kat: Well, I had an extraordinarily busy week and got nothing finished! However, I am very much enjoying Iain M. Banks’ eighth CULTURE novel, Matter. I’ll be on an extroverted family vacation this week, so I probably won’t get any reading done at all. Maybe I’ll finish the Banks’ novel. If not, no Matter.

Marion: I finished my second read of Gene Wolfe’s The Land Across. The book is interesting but probably not a major work of his. I decided to try to read all the Nebula novel nominees before the awards weekend in May, so I just finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. What a delight! I’ve started Fire With Fire by Charles Gannon, the other military SF book on the slate. Generally speaking, military SF is not my first choice, but Fire With Fire is briskly-paced with an interesting premise, even if it’s not my usual “thing.”

Steven: I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite early Larry Niven books, Protector and A World Out of Time. Enjoying both. The first is set in Niven’s KNOWN SPACE series, while the latter is part of another series of his that is usually know as THE STATE. I read both back a long time ago, when I was going through an all things Niven obsession phase, but both are holding up well decades later. I’m trying to talk my family into reading them after I finish. On the non fiction side, I’ve been reading The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Good stuff, it seems I can never read enough about TR when I’m in a non fiction mood.

Terry: I’ve been reading Sarah Pinborough‘s FORGOTTEN GODS trilogy; I’ve now finished the first two books, A Matter of Blood and The Shadow of the Soul, and have started the last, The Chosen Seed. It’s not often that I read a trilogy back to back to back like this, and I’m finding I enjoy the total immersion in an imaginary world. It’s not a very nice world, but it sure is an interesting one. As a sort of palate cleanser, I’ve started reading Working Stiff: 2 Years, 262 Bodies and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, M.D. and T.J. Mitchell. I’m a sucker for TV shows like “CSI,” and this is right up that alley, only true. Gory? Perhaps. But would you expect any less from a horror reader?

Tim: This week I read Edgar Rice BurroughsThe Land That Time Forgot and Sax Rohmer‘s The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu. The former was adventurous and exciting but felt incomplete (because it is — the original story was divided into three books). The latter was fun enough but sooooo racist, even for the standards of the time.


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TIM SCHEIDLER has recently finished a degree in English literature. He currently lives in Canada but will soon be on his way to Trinity College in Dublin for graduate school. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, and Jacqueline Carey. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing the fiddle and bagpipes, writing in any shape or form, and pretending Kung Fu as he does it is a real sport.

View all posts by Tim Scheidler

8 comments

  1. Marion, I had the same idea — to read all the Nebula nominees before the Nebula Weekend in May. Also the Andre Norton YA nominees. And the shorter fiction, for a couple of “Magazine Monday” columns. The problem is that I haven’t read any of the nominees in any category yet (unless I just don’t recognize a short fiction title, which is possible). Guess I’d better get busy.

    Did you see that Ellen Klages is going to be the toastmaster at the banquet? I suspect she’ll be quite an improvement on last year’s choice!

  2. Melanie Goldmund /

    I heard an excellent rendition of The Moon Moth over at the Starship Sofa podcast a while back, with singing and everything. Very cool. It made me want to get my hands (or ears) on more Jack Vance.

    This week, I’ve been re-reading The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, and then jumping right into Words of Radiance. I can’t get enough of his work.

    • Brad Hawley /

      Melanie: That Moon Moth podcast sounds great! I’m off to go look for it. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  3. Terry, you are such an achiever! I will be happy if I finish the novels. The Andre Norton noms are sure tempting, though. Yes, I think Klages will be a great toastmaster!

  4. Brad Hawley /

    Bill: I have vivid memories of reading Deathwatch as a child. I am a Floridian son of two parents who were also born and raised in Orlando (though I now live in Atlanta)–a rarity of sorts–and my father raised me to swim and sail because of Robb White, particularly because of his children’s novel The Lion’s Paw. My sister, brother, and I were each given our own copy of the out-of-print book and a rare and beautiful large lion’s paw shell when we each read The Lion’s Paw for the first time on our own. White has other wonderful books that deal with the sea, but The Lion’s Paw is a special book in our family. I think it’s out of print again (I haven’t checked recently), but there are more copies out there than there used to because my dad later talked a publisher into issuing another edition–though it was a smaller run. So, if you get your hands on a hardback edition with a green cover (from the late 80s I think), that’s the one my father pushed for. To this day, I think Robb White is the only author my father ever collected. Deathwatch is an odd one of White’s because of the LACK of water, but it’s also one of his most intense. I remember where I was sitting in my childhood home when I read Deathwatch!

    • Love those kinds of book memories. My 5th grade teacher started reading Deathwatch to us. The moment the split between the two characters happened, I hit the library, took the book home, and finished it that night–no way I was waiting to find out what happened!

      I’ll have to check out The Lion’s Paw–sounds great.

      And that’s impressive that your dad can talk a publishing to put another run out there1

    • Sarah /

      I love The Lion’s Paw! I still thing “eganahpro” every time I see the word Orphanage. I have an old hard cover brown copy, so maybe that’s the original? No book jacket though. I’ve never met anyone else who has read it. I may have to go dig out my copy again.

  5. Melissa (My World...in words and pages) /

    Some weeks are rougher than others, get lots of work in but nothing done. Hope you all finish out the week strong. :) Enjoy your reads.

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