Jana: This week I read through the boxed set (novellas #1-4) of Martha Wells’ MURDERBOT DIARIES, which I loved, and have been contributing enthusiastic reactions to Tadiana and Kat’s reviews. I’m also midway through Sarah Beth Durst’s The Bone Maker, and am enjoying it tremendously so far. Durst has a really good handle on her middle-aged former heroes who are forced to revisit their greatest victory/failure and the trauma still affecting their lives, and I’m excited to see how it all plays out.
Bill: This week as I continue to work through papers I managed to finish Jeff VanderMeer’s thoughtful and often lyrical Hummingbird Salamander: A Novel. I also read two collections of poetry: Jericho Brown’s often powerful The Tradition and Tracy K. Smith’s excellent Wade in the Water. Favorite line from Brown: I trust the maggots/Who live beneath the floorboards/Of my house to do what they must/To any carcass more than I trust/An officer of the law of the land/To shut my eyes like a man/Of God might, or to cover me with a sheet/So clean my mother could have used it/To tuck me in.
Marion: I’m finishing up Daughters of Kobani by Gail Tzemach Lemmon, a nonfiction account of Kurdish women warriors in the fight against ISIS. It’s inspiring, and as a fantasy writer, I recommend it as research material for anyone who is planning to develop a rebel woman warrior character. The women Lemmon profiles are, in many ways, regular people, and Lemmon depicts their humanity as well as their courage and strength.
Sandy: Moi? Having recently finished two books by mathematician and sometimes sci-fi author John Taine, Before the Dawn (1934) and The Forbidden Garden (1947), I have just started reading a third. The book in question combines two of Taine’s novellas into one volume and is entitled The Cosmic Geoids and One Other. I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on the original 1949 hardcover and look forward to sharing some thoughts on this one with you all very shortly….
Terry: I’ve been on a bit of a short fiction kick lately, from short stories to novellas. I finished the March issue of Lightspeed, especially notable for Adam-Troy Castro’s piece, “And Now, A Preview of Coming Attractions,” an absorbing meditation on death and what comes after. I enjoyed Martha Wells’s newest MURDERBOT novella, Fugitive Telemetry. And I liked John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher: Murder By Other Means. If there’s any author who has a distinctive voice, it’s Scalzi. Now I’m back to being thoroughly absorbed in The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey, which I expect to finish today. After that? Who knows?