Sunday Status Update: November 20, 2016

This week, Ayesha.

Ayesha: Week 148,846. No Kallikrates. No Kallikrates at all. Also, I might have gone a little mentally off earlier this week.  My servants have all left me to go on some sort of asinine hunger strike (at some point, they’re going to have to believe me that I really can’t make the dry season go away). I was left all alone, with no one to see to the upkeep. It wasn’t a good situation. So, naturally, I came up with a solution to the problem. I decided I’d maybe just reanimate Kallikrates’ mummified corpse and make it walk around tidying the throne room and so on. Nothing too crazy. Anyway, that seemed to work, so Then I got hold of a bunch of other mummies from the tombs of Kor and set them to helping. At first, I suppose I was just experimenting to see how much I could really manage without my servants. It was going swimmingly. But then the days just kept on passing and no one came to see me, and all of a sudden I had one of those moments of realization and wondered just what the hell I was doing. It was in the middle of a ball game between teams I had dubbed the Lurchers and the Groaners. They had little jerseys. I’m still not entirely clear on when I made them sew those up.

So anyway, I sent the bodies back to their tombs, got rid of the very creepy rubbish, and whipped up some thunder in the sky to frighten the servants back in. And now I’m going to hide this diary and never speak of this to anyone. Ever.

Bill: This week has been a lot of grading. But I did catch up with a whole bunch of Saga (written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples) subscription issues, which I prefer reading in bunches rather than as they come in. Man do I love that comic. Still in graphic mode, I also read Smash (written by Sara Latta, illustrated by Jeff Weigel), a nicely done YA/MG non-fiction comic about the CERN collider, the Higgs Boson, and the Standard Theory. Current reading includes: Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Assail (Amanda and I are a bit more than a third of the way for our ongoing MALAZAN reread over at Tor.com), Fleda Brown’s newest poetry collection The Woods Are On Fire, and Charles R. Ault, Jr’s Do Elephants Have Knees and Other Stories of Darwinian Origins, a juxtaposition of children’s stories and Darwin’s experiences/science that so far I’m thinking works better in theory than on the page, though I’m reserving final judgment.

Kat: I read the fourth and fifth books in Brandon Sanderson‘s ALCATRAZ AND THE EVIL LIBRARIANS series this week (The Shattered Lens and The Dark Talent). This is a very entertaining children’s series and would make a great gift for middle grade readers. I’ve read a few short stories, too, which I hope to review soon for Tadiana’s SFM feature. The stories are by Kurt Vonnegut, George R.R. Martin, Kage Baker, John Scalzi, and Peter Watts.

Marion: This week is kind of a blur, but I’m pretty sure I read some stuff. I browsed the latest issue of F&SF Magazine and found a couple of stories I enjoyed. I also read The Best American SF and Fantasy, 2016, which was edited by Karen Joy Fowler. This series is the brainchild of John Joseph Adams, but this year’s picks were Fowler’s. To my surprise, even though I don’t read much short fiction, several stories I had read in 2015 were in here, including a heart-warming personal favorite of mine from Ted Chiang, “The Great Silence.” I thank FanLit for our familiarity with these works; our short fiction reviews over the years have pointed me to some gems in the short form.

StuartThis week I finished Alastair Reynolds Chasm City, which was a lot better than the REVELATION SPACE series. Very gothic cyberpunk and much more fast-paced. I’ve also been listening to Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods, and it’s got some raunchy content I wasn’t expecting. Not sure if I like it or not. Finally finished a review of Lawrence Sutin’s Divine Invasions,  a biography of  Philip K Dick. Still chipping away at Lucius Shepard‘s The Jaguar Hunter, and find his imagery truly hallucinatory and impressive. 

Tim: This week, I continued with Andrzej Sapkowski‘s WITCHER series (just finished Time of Contempt). I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve also played one of the games, and it’s interesting to compare the two versions of the Geralt of Rivia character. Otherwise, I’ve been reading older texts involved with the Arthurian legends (The Lais of Marie de France and Chretien de Troyes’ Arthurian Romances, predominately), because that’s just the kind of nerd I am.


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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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5 comments

  1. Stuart, raunchy content usually doesn’t bother me, but I remember being shocked when Bilquis first appeared in AMERICAN GODS. I mean, what she does to her, um, worshipers is congruent within the book, but still, I blinked.

    • Oh, yeah… I remember that. Ick.

      Stuart, I read a story partly set in Chasm City and have wanted to read that novel ever since.

      I love Lucius Shepard.

  2. Ayesha, if you’re looking for some pocket money, you could probably sell those jerseys on eBay.

  3. Stuart Starosta /

    I can deal with raunchy content if it fits the overall tone and themes of a book, but I wasn’t expecting it in a Gaiman book, and I always ask the question “does this enhance the story in any way?” My answer would be a resounding “no” so far. The plot is also very meandering, so I’m not enjoying it much.
    Kat, you should definitely fit Chasm City into your rotation. If I had read that first I might have appreciated Revelation Space a bit more.

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