Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Category: Status Update

Every Sunday Tim compiles a report about what we read the week before. For most of the books we mention, you can expect a review soon.

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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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Sunday Status Update: January 15, 2023

Marion:  I finished Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Nick and Nora Charles in Space” mystery, The Spare Man. It was fun. Continuing my William Gibson re-read, I’m about one-third of the way through Count Zero.

Sandy: Moi? I recently finished reading a book by Robert Silverberg that I had not even heard of until lately, and that book is Conquerors From the Darkness, which was first released in 1965. I was fortunate enough to find the 1968 Dell paperback.


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Sunday Status Update: January 1, 2023

Marion: I reread Robert Jackson Bennett’s DIVINE CITIES series, and it was as good as I remembered. The day before Christmas a friend lent me Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, a YA fantasy adventure. I enjoyed it, although I think a young reader would enjoy it far more. While I liked the sixteen-year-old MC, it reminded me that one of things I’d especially enjoyed about the Bennett books was mature protagonists!

Bill:

This past week I read:

  • An excellent genre novel — The City We Became by N.K Jemisin  (halfway through the sequel)
  • An excellent genre novella — Arch-Conspirator,

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Sunday Status Update: December 18, 2022

Marion: I’m trying to read Scotto Moore’s The Battle of the Linguist Mages, a fantasy book many people loved, and one I should be enjoying thoroughly based on the premise and the back cover blurb. Sadly, for me it’s heading for DNF territory. I’m having trouble figuring out why. Is it the narrative voice of the MC? This is a kind of voice many readers adore. Is it the certain knowledge that, since the shape of the plot is a video game, the book is going to take me through Every Single Level?


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Sunday Status Update: December 4, 2022

Marion: I finished The Winter People, a supernatural thriller by Jennifer McMahon. I enjoyed it with only a few quibbles up until the last 25%, when it got so outlandish I could no longer suspend disbelief. Now I’m dipping into an abridged version of The Tale of Genji,  edited and translated by Royall Tyler. This is the 2001 version, Penguin edition. While I’m not loving it, it’s an interesting window into 10/11th century Japan, storytelling, and fan service.

Bill: These past two weeks (and the next one) I’ve mostly been reading student papers.


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Sunday Status Update: November 20, 2022

Marion: I read The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach. I enjoyed it while I was reading it; I don’t know what I think of it yet though. I finally started a 2019 Hugo winner, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, and I’m so glad I finally did! This is everything I love in a book so far! And, apart from genre, Empty Shells, The Story of Petaluma, America’s Chicken City is helping me learn more than I ever thought possible about incubators,


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Sunday Status Update: November 13, 2022

Marion: In spite of internet issues and vehicle issues, I found time to read this week. I finished N.K. Jemisin’s second book in the GREAT CITIES duology, The World We Make. It’s vivid, action-packed and full of fun. I bought C.LPolk’s novella Even Though I Knew the End the day it came out. I love her depiction of 1940’s Chicago, especially the lesbian bar Helen the protagonist and her girlfriend Edith met at. The plot was familiar but the book is fast-paced and lovingly captures a detective-noir voice.


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Sunday Status Update: October 30, 2022

Marion: I read a few things this week since we went to a secluded inn on the coast for a couple of nights. I re-read The Hourglass Throne, third book in THE TAROT SEQUENCE  by K.D. Edwards because I remembered that I hadn’t ever reviewed it! A review will follow soon. I also meandered through an anthology  of weird and spooky stories compiled by Melissa Edmundson, Women’s Weird Two; More Strange Stories by Women. The tales span a publication period from 1891-1937 featuring ghosts,


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Sunday Status Update: October 23, 2022

Marion: On Wednesday, I finished up a stunning gothic horror novel Little Eve by Catriona Ward. It had the two-stage horror good gothic gives me; the initial shock and dread, and the deeper shock and dread after I finished it and started thinking about what life was really like for those girls in the ruins of that isolated Scottish castle. The book I’m reading now is a disappointment. It’s a Flametree Press anthology called Bodies in the Library. Flametree books are beautiful to look at. This assortment of excerpts from late 19th century works and some original fiction has failed me on three levels.


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Sunday Status Update: October 16, 2022

Marion: The primary read this week was Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau; an original tale heavily inspired by the H.G. Wells novel. Now I’ve started Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading a collection of “weird menace” horror stories by author Ralston Shields, released by Ramble House in 2014. The collection is entitled Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories and consists of tales culled from the pulp magazines Horror Stories,


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Sunday Status Update: October 2, 2022

Kat: I’m still really busy, so haven’t had time for writing substantive reviews. Therefore, I continue to read my backlog of books that have already been substantively reviewed here at FanLit. Since you heard from me last I’ve read The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Icefall by Matthew Kirby, and the first four books in Ilona AndrewsKATE DANIELS series: Magic Bites, Magic Burns,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8267 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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