Sunday Status Update: April 2, 2017

This week, Red Sonja performs the long-standing heroic duty of saving a princess.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Red Sonja: You don’t run into a lot of fat princesses. I don’t know why. It seems like it’d be the sort of life that would predispose a woman to putting on some extra weight, what with the pampering and the gourmet meals. But the princesses I’ve seen have all inclined toward the skinny side, if anything. They usually have lots of blonde ringlets, too, and big blue eyes. And they always seem to be looking beseechingly toward something in the middle distance, which gets very annoying when you’re right in front of them waiting for instructions. This week, a king hired me to rescue his daughter, and sure enough, when I burst into the inner chamber covered in ogre guts, raw sewage, and what I’m pretty sure was unicorn puke (don’t ask), there she was all wasp-waisted and golden-haired. She’d somehow contrived not to be messy, which was just ridiculous.

“You’re not Prince David,” she said.

“Nope,” I said. “Come on, let’s go.”

She hesitated. “Is he on his way?”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“David. Do you think he’ll be here soon? It’s only, I’d really rather wait, if he won’t be too much longer.”

“I don’t think he’s dogging my steps, no,” I said. “Look, it’s getting late, and we have a lot of sewer to get through, so… ”

Shouldn’t have mentioned the sewer. She struck that tragic pose they all like to do, making her knuckles stand out white and her chin quiver. “I can’t. Leave me.” She turned aside and stared into the middle distance, lips parting in wordless supplication.

So anyway, I pitched her over my shoulder and carried her off through the sewer. She kicked and fought, but her situation was hopeless, really. She didn’t weigh hardly anything. That was probably how she got carried off so easily in the first place. Should’ve eaten a few more capons.

Bill: Not a lot this week thanks to a boatload of essays about how the western hero changed from Gilgamesh to Robin Hood. But I did finish The British Superhero by Chris Murray, an informative history of, well, the British superhero, along with a collection of poetry — Sharp Stars by Sharon Byron that had me dog-earing several excellent pieces. My long, slow listen to Empire of Things by Frank Trentmann has reached the chapters on work and leisure as they relate to consumerism. Media-wise we finally found the time to watch Rogue One, which I loved in the theater and again this time (sooo prefer it to The Force Awakens). As usual, I ate up this week’s episodes of The Expanse and The Magicians, but absolutely hated the series finale to Grimm, though it’s been a show I’ve mostly consistently enjoyed throughout its run even if I didn’t “love” it. This week also saw my family wrap up the sole season of Terra Nova, much to our collective dismay (more dinosaurs than I’d recalled from its original airing). We turned to Terra Nova after one too many plot holes saw us bail on The 100. And I’m in the Buffy segment of my hero course, so it’s my annual reminder of just how damned good that show is (about to enter season five).

Jana: This week I mini-binged on horror: I read Mira Grant‘s Feed, then re-read Feedback, then read Deadline. Terry’s absolutely right, the NEWSFLESH series is fascinating, and you can bet I’ll be reading Blackout as soon as I have a spare moment. I finished Sylvain Neuvel‘s Waking Gods and Ian McDonald‘s Luna: New Moon, and I should be able to start its sequel, Luna: Wolf Moon, in the coming week. I also read Ashley Poston’s YA debut, Geekerella, which was surprisingly sweet and authentically nerdy. (Reviews forthcoming, naturally.)

Marion: Thanks to Kate, I had an ARC of Robert Jackson Bennett’s novel City of Miracles. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it. While it has a few of my favorite characters from the earlier books, there are some interesting new ones to meet. And no, I am not crying; I just got something in my eye. I read several entertaining stories from an anthology called Principia Ponderosa; the theme is Weird West and the tales run the gamut from horror to weird, to steampunk and action adventure. The hard copy’s production values are not good, but the work is. I hope to review a few stories from it for Short Fiction Monday.

And I bought The Collapsing Empire  by John Scalzi. I’ve only read the first sentence, which is, in the best possible way, a riff on the famous ending of many Scoobie Doo cartoons, “I’d have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those pesky kids!”

Ryan: I just started Kim Stanley Robinson‘s new one, New York 2140.

Tim: This week, I finally concluded Mark Lawrence‘s RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy with The Wheel of Osheim. On the whole a very fun fantasy series, with a satisfactory ending (at least, given this particular character). I also read Kazuo Ishiguro‘s Nocturnes (good, but not my favorite of his works), and am now listening to a lecture series on Vikings.

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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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  1. I recently read an ARC of a Mira Grant novella and wasn’t bowled over by it. I think the short length contributed to most of the problem. It’s pretty clear that the NEWFLESH series is one I should make a note to start.

    • I highly recommend the NEWSFLESH series! But please, be smarter than I was, and start with Feed. It’s funny how reading the books in order means that EVERYTHING makes more sense. :D

  2. sandy ferber /

    Sorry, I HAVE to ask: Tell me more about the unicorn puke!

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