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.