Sunday Status Update: May 15, 2016

This week, Frodo.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Frodo: Still in the Mines of Moria. Legolas is becoming deeply annoying. He keeps rambling on about the beauty of the open woods and tragedy that led the races of Middle Earth to build in stone rather than gambol in the open glades, or something like that. Doesn’t he live in a giant rock cave? Isn’t that what Bilbo’s book says? Anyway, every time Legolas starts in with his rhapsodizing about the trees and the stars, Gimli gets all defensive and starts pointing out the marvels of Moria craftsmanship. Oh wait, no, sorry. Craftsdwarfship. I am almost certain that is not actually a word, but Gimli is insisting we all use it, because otherwise we’re appropriating his heritage. Every time he says it, Legolas starts going on about the thin skins of dwarves. I’m pretty sure one of them is going to be a murderer before long. If we’re lucky, they’ll do each other in.

Bill: Thanks to life intruding, and a host of final papers (only two classes left!), I’ve been absent from Sunday Status for a while. Rather than go back to my last time, I’m just going to recap my reading the past two weeks:

  • Fall of Light by Steven Erikson: another excellent installment in the Malazan series
  • Dancer’s Lament by Ian Cameron Esslemont: his first book of a new prequel trilogy, highly enjoyable and perhaps the best book to start the series (despite almost 20 books already being out there)
  • Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay: another masterwork from a master
  • Blood and Bone by Ian Cameron Esslemont: an older Malazan book just finished for the reread over at Tor.com. Ranks in the top half of Esselmont’s part of the series

Right now I’m currently about a third of the way through Dom Delillo’s newest Zero K (and quite enjoying it) and am about two-thirds of the way through listening to the fantastically informative and lucid The Invisible History of the Human Race by Cristine Kenneally. And finally I’ve been catching up on my Saga issues and am still absolutely loving this graphic series.

Kat: To catch up with my reading goal, I read a bunch short stories, novellas, and short novels this week: Louisa the Poisoner by Tanith Lee, “Professional Integrity” by Michael J. SullivanWitches of Lychford by Paul Cornell, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” by James Patrick Kelly, Troika byAlastair Reynolds, Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper, The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway by Karina Cooper, “A Better Man” by Paul S. Kemp, and John Christopher’s TRIPODS series: The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, The Fire Pool and When the Tripods Came. The best things I read were Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (which just won the Nebula Award) and “Peace in Amber” by Hugh Howey.

Marion: I finished The Salt Roads, Nalo Hopkinson’s 2003 fantasy novel, which follows three women at various points of time, their lives viewed through the eyes of an infant deity. A review will follow. Now I’m reading Vonda McIntyre’s Nebula-awarded fantasy novel Moon and Sun.

Stuart: Last week I finished Gregory Benford’s Nebula Winner Timescape (1980), which was all about the exciting world of physicists trying to decipher encoded tachyon messages from the future via experiments on magnetic resonance. Yeah, exactly as gripping as it sounds. Since I’ve been on a time-travel trip of late, I listened to Jack Finney’s 1970 classic Time and Again, a loving tribute to the lost world of 1880s New York. Next, I ticked off the list Jack Haldeman’s Camouflage, which inexplicably won the 2006 Nebula Award over Susanna Clarke‘s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which got five 5-star ratings from FanLit reviewers. It was a mediocre story of shapeshifting aliens on the loose, told in “mainstream thriller” style, and frankly I can’t believe it won the Nebula – the same goes for Haldeman’s Forever Peace (1999). In comics, I finished Vol 4: Season of Mists of Neil Gaiman‘s SANDMAN series. 

Tadiana: Last week I read V.E. Schwab‘s A Darker Shade of Magic. I enjoyed her take on parallel Victorian-era Londons, some with magic and some (Grey London, in our world) without. I also snaggedBrandon Sanderson‘s Hugo-nominated novella Perfect State when the Kindle version went on sale for 99 cents and immediately read that. My non-speculative fiction reads the past couple of weeks were Georgette Heyer’s Gothic/Regency romance mashup Cousin Kate (not one I’d really recommend other than to Heyer completists), Mary Stewart’s The Gabriel Hounds, which is a suspense novel set in 1960s Lebanon and Syria, and Chris Cleave’s brand-new WWII novel, Everyone Brave is Forgiven.

Tim: This week, I read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It won the Pulitzer in 2011. So, yeah, it was okay. I also read several issues of the new Marvel comic book The Vision, which was quite good and in fact may be one of the best openers to a comics run I’ve read in a while.


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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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