Sunday Status Update: April 22, 2012

Does anyone else feel like we’re overdue for a “blockbuster fantasy” to hit shelves? Can’t say why this occurs to me now…it just seems like a good long stretch. Shouldn’t there have been a new WHEEL OF TIME in there somewhere? Sanderson can usually whip up a novel for breakfast and add a few short stories on the side…hm. Yeah.  What was I doing? Oh, right.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: It’s the last week of the semester for me, so I did a lot more grading than reading this week. I read the short horror novel The Tulpa by Ardath Mayhar which Wildside Press has recently put in audio. It was just ok. Review tomorrow for Horrible Monday (“Horrible” refers to horror novel, not horrible novel). I’m currently very much enjoying the second of Tanith Lee’s FLAT EARTH novels, Death’s Master. Excellent stuff!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: A busy week with work, but I’m still making my way through Suzanne Johnson‘s Royal Street and also reading Blackbirds, by Chuck Wendig, which I think Justin should read because it’s really gory and darkly humorous.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I am reading Dark Sleeper, by Jeffrey E Barlough, for the challenge list. I’m only about a quarter of the way in, but what a delightful, Dickensian, Conan-Doylish treat! Before that I read Phoenix Rising, a MINISTRY OF PECULIAR OCCURENCES novel by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine. I like the writers’ chutzpah – for example, one couple is named Barnabas and Angelique Collins, a wink to Dark Shadows fans everywhere. I finished The Tudor Secret, by C.W. Gortner, a pre-Elizabethanera espionage novel. This is the first book of a proposed series. I enjoyed it and will read the second one when it comes out, but I’m enjoying Dark Sleeper more.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Ruth: I just finished up the next book in the WOOL series by Hugh Howey called First Shift, which was excellent. A review will be coming soon. I’m also reading Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn, which won a World Fantasy Award when I was four. Fantasy books used to be short, y’all. I was having a hard time figuring out who was invading whom until I realized I had skipped the map at the front of the book. I love good maps. I’m also reading Jenny Lawson‘s hysterical and haunting memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. She makes my family look downright normal.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Terry: I finished up a number of books I’d already started this past week — but of course I also started a couple of new books. The one that’s catching my attention most completely is Aliette de Bodard‘s Servant of the Underworld, the first in her series, OBSIDIAN AND BLOOD. I’m enjoying the unusual setting (a world in which Mexico is dominant, and the Aztec way of life is still extant). I’ve also started Chesya Burke‘s collection of short stories, Let’s Play White. I’m not sure yet what I think of this collection, but the first two stories are good enough that I’ll keep reading.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: Like Kat, I’ve been dealing with the end of the school year, and there seem to be a few dozen tasks lining up to make nuisances of themselves. Still, I did get some reading done. Although it isn’t fantasy, I did read Douglas Coupland‘s Generation X this week, which was…postmodern. And not a little self-conscious. Still, not a bad read at all. I also reread Chris Abani‘s A Song for Night, which is a somewhat fantastic bent, although definitely in the African child soldier genre. It’s been an unusual week for reading preferences across the board, really.


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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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3 comments

  1. @Ruth, the map can be so crucial! I was recently reading a book where I could not for the life of me figure out what was a country, what was a city, which cities were in which countries, etc., and then found out that the ARC (which I had) didn’t have the map but the finished version did. I ended up consulting the author’s website and only then did I figure out what the heck was going on.

  2. @Marion – I had started Dark Sleeper a while ago and then work got crazy. It’s not a book I could read in 5 or 10 minute bits. Thanks for mentioning it. I need to go dig it out and start over.

    @Ruth – And fantasy novels used to just be a single book not a series of 10 or more. I just started Elantris which is supposedly a single volume fantasy novel.

  3. @Sarah, you are right about Dark Sleeper; it’s not a “car” book that I can read in bits and pieces. I’ve got about 30 pages to go, and I do see some places where Barlough made some bad choices, but still, trying to write a Dickensian fantasy is a noble endeavor. He did a good job.

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