Sunday Status Update: April 7, 2013

This time around, our guest speaker Elric of Melnibonë attacks a beloved friend completely without provocation. To the surprise of absolutely no one.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsElric: This week I read The Bane of the Black Sword, by Michael Moorcock. I’m the Eternal Champion, constantly adrift in space and time. I can do that kind of thing. I was most struck by the appearance of my friend Moonglum. I suppose I had to see the name in print to be sure. I always assumed it just sounded like Moonglum but was actually some barbaric cornucopia of vowels and double-Ls. Moaounglluiem or something. But no. Moonglum. Strange that I didn’t realize just how silly it seemed before. Did his parents just decide to sandwich two words together completely at random? Might he have been Gigglecracker or Couchsnort if his mother was in a better mood? Ah well. At any rate, I thought about reading the sequel, called Stormbringer, but decided against it. It seems rather ponderous, and I’m sure nothing really happens. I’ve sworn off adventure, after all.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews John: Finished Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs and I am now reading Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan. This is the debut novel in the series and is a fun combination of flintlock level technology and magic. Kind of brutal, but funny so far.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Kat: Not much time for reading these days, but I managed to listen to two audiobooks while driving and doing chores. I’m continuing on with Jim Butcher’s CODEX ALERA and I finished books 4 and 5: Captain’s Fury and Princeps Fury. I haven’t been too excited by CODEX ALERA and am only finishing it because I can download the audiobooks free from my library and because we need them reviewed here at FanLit. The fourth book, Captain’s Fury, was a step in the right direction but with the fifth book we’re back to the same issues I had with the first three books. Reviews to come.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Kelly: I’m reading Aimee Carter‘s The Goddess Inheritance and not really getting into it. But on the positive side, I’ve just started Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. I loved the previous book and am really psyched.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Marion: I’m reading The Gifts of the Crow, by Paul Angells. This non-fiction book addresses intelligence and emotion in the corvidae, which includes jays, magpies and jackdaws. The text is good, filled with interesting facts and good scientific background, but I wish that in addition to the lovely pencil drawings by Jack Mazluff, it also had photos.

Titan Books is reissuing Michael Moorcock’s trilogy The Nomad of the Timestream, and I finished The Warlord of the Air. Originally published in 1971, it shows us all how to really do a Victorian pastiche. I had a few quibbles, though. A review will follow.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Stormbringer: This week I read Elric’s soul. Doom, gloom, woe is me, my darling Cymoril, blah blah blah. Same old, same old.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Terry: Awards season is making me feel even more scattered and overwhelmed than usual — and that’s saying something! I’m trying to keep up with new fiction as well as read all the nominees I’ve missed. I guess that’s why the “currently reading” folder on my Kindle contains close to 60 books. I finished Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines, a light novel that is written in nice, clean prose and therefore was just what the doctor ordered for a mind darting in 18 directions at once. I also started Napier’s Bones by Derryl Murphy, a story about “numerates,” that is, people who can do magic with numbers. It’s an interesting concept. And I started Strangewood by Christopher Golden, which is a fine piece of metafiction — fiction about fiction — one of my favorite sorts of literature, no matter what genre.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I read Tricked, the latest in Kevin Hearne‘s IRON DRUID series. It was fun enough as urban fantasy goes, but I did find I enjoyed previous novels a bit more. Part of my reduced enthusiasm, I admit, might have been that this book featured a storyline predominately focused on Atticus’s apprentice/girlfriend Granuaile, and I’ve never been a big Granuaile fan. Oberon the talking wolfhound all the way. Actually, can I just start a petition to make Oberon the eponymous Iron Druid?

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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. Tim, we can make it the Iron Wolfhound series. Love that dog.

  2. Tizz /

    Absolutely, Oberon rules.
    It was disappointing to find Tricked less appealing than the earlier volumes. It seemed to go around in circles and had no real ending. I actually put it down for about two weeks half way through. (I did wonder whether Kevin Hearne has been writing too much too quickly…)

  3. brad hawley /

    I’ve been rereading the early P.I. novels of Robert B. Parker and Lawrence Block. Great stuff. In comics, I’ve been reading Wagner’s brilliant series Grendel, which has run for about thirty years, and his Mage, a retelling of Arthurian legend. I’ve also continued my reading of the three related fantasy/horror/noir titles of Witchblade, The Darkness and Artifacts.

    Warning–Another One of Brad’s Witchblade Rants:
    I know many of you–as I was–are put off by the pin-up quality of the art, but the writing by Marz starting at issue 80 of Witchblade (and all of Artifacts) makes it one of the best fantasy series in comics as far as I’m concerned. And The Darkness, because it features a male, doesn’t have the pin-up problems. And it focuses on the horror genre. Both titles have been rebooted, and I’m impressed with what the new writers are doing. In Witchblade, after few bad issues, the writer has made Sara a P.I. instead of a police officer (a clever sub-genre shift within the larger genre of noir) AND taken her to mystic, fantasy worlds of faerie that have a steampunk look from the years of secret trading with our world. In The Darkness, the new writer has taken the title in a Lovecraftian direction as the old squid-like Ancient ones start seeping into our world. How cool is that? These the related titles, other than the very real problems I have with the depiction women, are doing more in simultaneous, multiple genres than any other comic I read. And the problem with the portrayal of the women is often ONLY visual. The best writers, like Ron Marz, WRITE women who are often some of the strongest female characters.

    I still hope to write a full-blown article this summer, featuring samples of typical Witchblade art in comparison with the work of guest artists who have drawn an issue here and there in a noir style with a tough Sara instead of a fantasy, pin-up sexy Sara.

    Thanks for listening . . .

  4. brad hawley /

    Terry, my currently reading folder sounds about as useless as yours. Sounds like we both need subcategories! I wish, like my wife, I could read one book straight through at a time. I just want to start every book I get. It’s ridiculous.

    • I actually have 73 categories on my Kindle, of which “currently reading” is only one, but yes, subfolders would be nice. As addictions go, books is a fairly harmless one, but wow, is it ever powerful!

      And talk about feeding an addiction! Now I want to read Witchblade.

  5. Moonglum’s name originally was Gigglecracker, but he changed it legally, because he got teased too much at school. Elric, i’m surprised you didn’t know this. It’s on his Facebook page.

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