Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Tim Scheidler


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Sunday Status Update: August 13, 2023

Marion: Currently I’m reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest, the noir horror novel Silver Nitrate. She set it in the 1990s, with a woman sound editor MC, and is already mining the dark and creepy world of classic horror films, from the 1930s forward.

Bill:   Not a lot of reading this week as I was busy finishing off a 9000-mile road trip. But I did finish The Bone Orchardby Sara A. Mueller, a work that despite some small issues was truly fascinating.


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Sunday Status Update: August 6, 2023

Marion: I finished Garth Nix’s latest, The Sinister Booksellers of Bath; it was fun spending time with the characters we met in the Left-Handed Booksellers of London. I just started Alaya Dawn Johnson’s lyrical, complex new book The Library of Broken Worlds. I’m loving every description, every secret, every mystery.

Bill:  Since our last status I’ve read

  • Blade of Dream by Daniel Abraham: book two in another excellent series by him
  • Nightborn: Coldfire Rising by C.S.

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Sunday Status Update: May 28, 2023

Marion: I’m about one third of the way through Matthew Pearl’s 18-year-old novel The Bookaneer, which I’m liking more now that our narrator has arrived in Samoa and we’ve met Robert Louis Stevenson and his family.

Bill: Since our last update I read:

  • The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence: sure to be on my Best of ‘23 list
  • The Essential Peter S. Beagle: Volumes I and II by Peter S. Beagle:  an excellent (no surprise) collection of Beagle’s short stories
  • Witch King by Martha Wells: A good fantasy with an intriguing set of characters
  • The Malevolent Seven by Sebastien de Castell: admittedly a  bit disappointing though enjoyed parts
  • For the Love of Mars by Matthew Shindell: an interesting look at our changing thoughts about the Red Planet over time
  • The Ugly History of Beautiful Things,

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Sunday Status Update: May 7, 2023

Marion: I’ve been re-reading both Greg van Eekhout and Daryl Gregory; The CALIFORNIA BONES series, and Afterparty, which I think would make a great streaming series. Now I’m finally settling in with Simon Singh’s 1999 book The Code Book, which dumbs down a lot of fascinating mathematical information enough that even I can understand it.

Bill:   Amidst a lot of final papers/portfolios, since our last update I’ve read

  • The Possibility of Life by Jaime Green: a fantastic look at the idea of life beyond Earth
  • The Ferryman by Justin Cronin: a well-written sort-of-dystopia
  • Deadly Memory by David Walton: a techno-thriller with great dinosaur characters
  • The Way Home by Peter Beagle: a lovely duology from one of our best fantasists
  • Odin by George O’Connor: as with his OLYMPIANS series,

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Sunday Status Update: March 26, 2023

Marion: I read  Crownbreaker,  the final book in Sebastien de Castell’s SPELLSLINGER series. I’ve skipped one book in Kellen’s adventures, and it’s the one before this one, but I think I kept up well enough. Kellen is sent off to kill a god in this one, but as always, his real problem is his relationship with his powerful, loving, manipulative, lying father. Now I’m reading Elsa Sjunneson’s Sword of the White Horse, a second world fantasy based on the Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed,


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Sunday Status Update: March 12, 2023

Marion: I finished the Veronica Roth novella Arch-Conspirator, that Bill recommended, and thought it was very good. Now I’m halfway through a thriller by Paula McLain called When the Stars Go Dark. It’s set in the village of Mendocino, CA, and other north-coastal spots in 1993. While it’s well-written, the blending of her fictional missing-girl story with the real-life Polly Klaas is a little hard to take. That case isn’t abstract history for me–I remember it vividly. I’m sticking with the book though.

Sandy: Moi?


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Sunday Status Update: March 5, 2023

Marion: I read the latest Vera Stanhope mystery by Ann Cleeves and didn’t care for it much, but the mystery centers around a bunch of 60-somethings who went to a “retreat” and encounter-session when they were teens in the 70s, and I laughed out loud. I went to those. Cleeves nailed it. After that I read The Eidolon, K.D. Edwards’s companion piece to The Hourglass Throne. The book covers what happened to Rune’s three young charges, Quinn, Max and Anna, during the parts of The Hourglass Throne when they were missing.


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Sunday Status Update: February 12, 2023

Marion: After The Necessity of Stars by E. Catherine Tobler, I read Laird Barron’s Blood Standard, Book One in his action/crime series featuring Isiah Coleridge. It’s filled with quirky characters, gore, violence and the weird, breath-taking scenic descriptions I expect from Barron. It didn’t resonate with me but I always appreciate his writer’s eye and his prose.

Bill: Since our last status I read:

  • The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty — a very fun middle-aged mom-as-pirate tale
  • Dead Country by Max Gladstone: a welcome return to the highly recommended Craft series
  • Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati: a solid retelling of (most of) the Greek story with a strongly realized titular character at its center
  • Fields of Light and Shadow by David Young and The Last Two Seconds  by Mary Jo Bang:  pair of poetry collections that just weren’t for me,

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Sunday Status Update: January 22, 2023

Marion:  I’m currently reading Indelible City; Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong, by journalist Louisa Lim. Lim grew up in Hong Kong. Her book is written in confessional journalism style where she centers herself in the story. Starting with the demonstrations for democracy in 2019, she traces the history of the city back to before the common era. Lim’s work is well-researched, and her prose is personal and immediate. I’m engrossed.

Bill: Since our last status I read Kelly Barnhill’s dark The Crane Husband (lovely sparse language,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Words fail. I can't imagine what else might offend you. Great series, bizarre and ridiculous review. Especially the 'Nazi sympathizer'…

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