Sunday Status Update: April 19, 2020

Kat: I tried the first two novels in Charles E. Gannon’s CAINE RIORDAN series, Fire with Fire and Trial by Fire. I agree with Marion that they are too long and marred by a hero who is too good to be true. Fran Wilde’s Riverland, a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, is a sweet middle grade fantasy adventure about sisterly love. S.K. Dunstall’s Stars Beyond is a pleasant space opera and better than its predecessor, Stars Uncharted. A Plague of Giants is the first book in a new fantasy epic by Kevin Hearne. It’s got an interesting structure and I look forward to telling you more about it soon.

Bill: This week I read A Broken Queen and The Cerulean Queen, the last two books in Sarah Kozloff’s NINE REALMStetralogy which I unfortunately can’t recommend.  On a better note, I also finished Robert Jackson Bennett’s Shorefall, an excellent follow-up to the also excellent Foundryside.  Outside the sci-fi realm, I introduced my son to the Tony Hillerman series of Navajo-centered mysteries and reread People of Darkness with him. Happily, I enjoyed the book yet again.  Other titles since my last update include In The Elements of a Home by  Amy Azzarito, somewhat disappointing but occasionally interesting collection of brief, trivia-centered histories of an eclectic mix of nearly 70 household objects; The Year 1000 by Valerie Hansen, an engagingly informative look at, well, the year 1000.

Kelly: Being stuck in the house calls for a big meaty saga! I’m currently reading the omnibus edition of Blackwater by Michael McDowell, a Southern gothic horror tale originally published in six installments. I’m not sure what’s scarier, the river monster or the passive-aggressive family drama. Like pretty much everybody else who’s started this recently, I learned about it from Grady Hendrix’s delightful retrospective, Paperbacks from Hell.

Marion: I finished Elizabeth Hand’s book, Curious Toys. My review should be up soon if it hasn’t been posted already. Then I indulged in some re-reading. I hadn’t thought of Pat Murphy’s 1989 post-apocalyptic science fiction-fantasy hybrid ( or magic realism if you prefer that term) The City, Not Long After, as a pandemic book, but reading it now… And, continuing the theme of cities, I’m about halfway through China Mieville’s The City and the City. It’ a weird and as good as I remembered.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading my sixth book in a row from Armchair Fiction’s current Lost World/Lost Race series: Howard Browne’s Forgotten Worlds (1948). This book has pulled me in pretty quickly, I must say, and I look forward to reporting back to you all regarding its various merits shortly….

Terry: I read John Scalzi’s INTERDEPENDENCE trilogy, The Collapsing Empire, The Consuming Fire, and The Last Emperox, back to back to back, and had a grand time. Since then, I’ve mostly been reading works in manuscript.

Tim: This week, I read Frank Herbert‘s God Emperor of Dune, which was a pretty good book considering that 95% of it was about characters standing around discussing politics and philosophy with a big, smug worm. I had fun overall, though as per usual with the DUNE series, I think I’ll need a break before I tackle the next novel.


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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. I’m ordering RIVERFALL today, Kat.

    I just finished up THE LAST EMPEROX (which arrived… yesterday). It was good fun!

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