Sunday Status Update: April 9, 2017

This week, Robin Hood addresses the fact that Hollywood has labored for nearly a century under the delusion that he is Ivanhoe.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Robin: New wanted posters this week. Always an exciting time. My bounty price went up again, and ah, how the glades rang with laughter when the men saw how highly the sheriff prizes us! But there were also some minor… issues. This time, you see, an accounting of my deeds was appended to the main poster, which would have been a merry thing, save that they were not in fact my deeds. My poster states that I am a crusading knight recently returned to England, that I have been wrongfully disinherited, that my childhood sweetheart and fair lady has been spirited away by a loathsome nobleman, and that I have made common cause with outlaws in order to rescue her and put the land to rights. Also that I am affiliated with King Richard somehow.

This is all so completely wrongheaded that I was left quite baffled. Then my dear friend Stutely, the old dog fox, creased his brow and said, “Master, is yonder tale not the life story of that knight we helped not three months back? Ivanhoe?” And then I realized that yes, it’s true. Somehow I’ve been mistaken for Ivanhoe.

Bill: This week I read the final book in the Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan, Within the Sanctuary of Wings. As always, the voice was my favorite part. I also finished George Saunder’s first novel Lincoln in the Bardo, a uniquely constructed work that ended up profoundly moving. Reviews coming for both. Lastly, I read Daniel Tobin’s poetry collection Second Things.

Brad: This week I read Black Jack stories by the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka. Black Jack is a misanthropic genius doctor much like the one on the TV show House. I also read Tezuka’s MW, a six- hundred page graphic novel that tells the story of the friendship between a psychopath and a priest, of chemical warfare developed by the United States, and of mass corruption between the politicians and military of the U.S. and Japan. I also started rereading Tezuka’s Barbara, about an enigmatic young woman who lives on the streets and who is taken in by a famous writer with plenty of problems of his own.

Jana: This week I read Mira Grant‘s Blackout, which was the perfect conclusion to the NEWSFLESH trilogy, and I re-read Ruthanna Emrys’ “The Litany of Earth” so I could review it for SHORTS. I also re-read the first three books in Marie Brennan‘s MEMOIRS OF LADY TRENT series: A Natural History of DragonsThe Tropic of Serpents, and Voyage of the Basilisk, in preparation for reading In the Labyrinth of Drakes and her upcoming conclusion to the series, Within the Sanctuary of Wings.  I’m very excited to see how Lady Isabella fares in the desert!

Marion: I read John Scalzi’s new space opera The Collapsing Empire. This is the first book in a series set in a new story universe. I enjoyed it but didn’t love it –but I think it sets the scene very well for future books in the series. And it’s funny.  I also finished up Check Wendig’s Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End. A review will follow soon. After all that, my favorite thing to read this week was Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti: Home. The middle section of this story has Binti returning to earth and her family, and wrestling with even more family secrets. It’s lovely.

Sandy: Moi? Right now, I am reading my third book by English author Eric Frank Russell in as many weeks. This current one is his 1965 offering The Mindwarpers, which contains no sci-fi content whatsoever in its first half – the book so far is more of a psychological Cold War mystery thriller – although I have a feeling that things will be getting a bit more sci-fi oriented toward the conclusion. I hope to be able to get a review of this one out to you very soon…

Terry: I’m still finishing up The Moonlight War by S.K.S. Perry. I hope to finish it — and review it — today.

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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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