Sunday Status Update: September 8, 2019

Bill: This week I read The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda (stand-alone fantasy),  The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt (debut fantasy), Gates of Never by Deborah Davitt (speculative poetry), Marley by Jon Clinch (reshaping of A Christmas Carol), Avidly Reads Board Games by Eric Thurm (non-fiction), and Aluminum Leaves, a novella by our very own Marion Deeds. In genre video, I’m halfway through season one of The Terror (and since Marion mentioned it, also just finished season three of Shetland).

Jana: This week I’m reading (and really enjoying) Tamsyn Muir’s debut novel Gideon the Ninth, which is all about space-faring lesbian necromancers who swordfight, ooze snark, and have to solve all kinds of fascinating mysteries. It’s the kind of book that makes me snort with laughter on a regular basis, and I’ve been needing that lately! I’m also indulging my love of all things STAR WARS by replaying through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, and it’s making me wonder if some sort of Expanded Universe binge-read might not be in the works for next year.

Kat: Two novels and two novellas this week. Pawn and Knight are the first two books in Timothy Zahn’s THE SIBYL’S WAR. I have no desire to read the third book. The Flowers of Vashnoi is a new story in Lois McMaster Bujold’s MILES VORKOSIGAN saga. The plot wasn’t too exciting, but it’s always fun to visit the Vorkosigans. The Lost Sisters, by Holly Black, gives one character’s perspective of the events that happened in The Cruel Prince. Fans of Black’s THE FOLK OF THE AIR will appreciate it.

Kelly: I finished Marta Randall’s Mapping Winter, which I enjoyed, and am now starting the sequel, The River South, which focuses on the daughter of Mapping Winter’s heroine. I’m also working on the anthology The Wand that Rocks the Cradle, edited by Oren Litwin and featuring our own Marion Deeds. The theme is magical stories about family. As for what comes next, I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this here before, but I’ve gone back to school as of last year. I’m going to be reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez for my English class over the next few weeks. (The class is on Magical Realism. College is awesome.)

Marion:  I finished the Carlos Ruiz Zafon book and read a trio of murder mysteries this week. (Nothing speculative was lined up.) I enjoyed Raven Black and Thin Air, both by Ann Cleeves, each in her SHETLAND series. I’m currently reading Frozen Out, an Icelandic mystery written by British writer and translator Quentin Bates. Bates lived in Iceland for ten years and has translated numerous Icelandic authors into English, but this book is disappointing. There is no real sense of the landscape or the nation; it’s a British mystery with Icelandic names. On the other hand, it’s set in the path of Iceland’s 2008 financial collapse, so those details are interesting.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading the sequel to Ralph Milne Farley’s first novel, The Radio Man, aka An Earthman on Venus (1924), entitled The Radio Beasts, which a kindly FanLit member was good enough to mail to me after seeing my review of that first book. This difficult-to-find Ace paperback was something of a manna-from-heaven delivery for me, as I did not know if I would ever be able to find a copy of this true rarity. I look forward to getting more into it and reporting back to you all shortly….


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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. Kelly Lasiter /

    Jana, I really want to read Gideon the Ninth!

    • Jana Nyman /

      Yes. Yes, you do. :D

      I’m really excited that you’re taking a class on Magical Realism!

      • Kelly Lasiter /

        Me too! I always feel like I’m getting away with something when I get to read fun stuff for a class. I felt the same way about my YA Lit class back in the spring.

  2. Bill, is the SHETLAND series good? I know that the VERA series is.

    • I think it’s excellent (season three may have been my favorite one), and my son, who didn’t see seasons 1 or 2, started watching 3 with me and wouldn’t let me go on without him (or start season 4). Atmospheric, well-acted, character-driven.

      Good to know about VERA as I’ve been planning on starting that next!

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