This week, we read a lot of great books!

Bill: This week I read in order of preference (mostly)

  • Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver: almost surely going on my best of the year list
  • Anna-Lisa Cox’s The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality: a vividly compelling history that should be required reading — at least excerpts — in all schools (I’m pushing for just that via teachers I know or have worked with).
  • Ben Hatke’s Mighty Jack: a sensitive, imaginative, bizarre Jack and the Beanstalk story updated to modern day
  • Oren Harman’s Evolutions: an odd little work that tells a brief history of the universe and life in the style of myth. I liked most of them most of the time.
  • Zachary Mason’s Metamorphica, his reshaping of Ovid’s tales that left me pretty cold and feeling like they all were too similar in tone and styleIn Media, Killjoys season three continues to entertain. And the entire family was in agreement that Downsizing was one of the worst movies we’ve seen in some time.

Jana: This week, amidst a flurry of review-writing, I read books two and three in Jon Hollins‘ DRAGON LORDS series, False Idols (#2) and Bad Faith (#3). Book two is a little weak and overlong, but book three is much stronger and tightly-plotted, which was a relief. Next week, I’m taking a break from reading while I do a little traveling up to Montana to visit family and eat as many huckleberries as I can stand.

Kat: I’m on break before fall semester, so I got so much read this week! S.K. Dunstall‘s Stars Uncharted was pleasant but unoriginal. George R.R. Martin‘s Nightflyers was like an SF version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were NoneJeff VanderMeer‘s The Strange Bird was beautiful and moving, just like its companion novel, BorneAlan Dean Foster‘s Relic had a compelling premise that I couldn’t resist but it didn’t blow me away like I’d hoped. Gail Carriger‘s Competence was just as frivolous as its predecessors and I think I’m done with that series. Peter Clines‘ Dead Men Can’t Complain was a great story collection in audiobook format. Reviews of all of these are coming soon. Lastly, Joe R. Lansdale‘s Savage Season (the first HAP & LEONARD book) was so well written but it’s not speculative fiction so I probably won’t review it.

Marion: I finished Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, which posits an alternate history in which a meteorite collision with earth accelerates the space program because of the need to get off the planet. Elma York, a woman pilot with a PhD in physics, works for the space program and longs to get into space. I quite enjoyed it. Everything Robinette Kowal does well she did well here and it was a satisfying read for the most part. A review will follow soon.

Sandy: Moi? I have just recently returned from a trip to Vancouver and Alaska and unfortunately did not get a chance to read overly much during these couple of weeks of excursions. But since I was in the great American Northwest, I DID bring along C.L. Moore’s wonderful Northwest Smith collection to reread (clever of me, right?), and hope to get a review of this one out for you very shortly. And I have also just started to reread Moore’s group of stories revolving around her other most famous character, gathered in Jirel of Joiry, and am looking forward to refamiliarizing myself with this old favorite, as well…

Terry: I’ve been reading the DIVINE CITIES trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett. I finished City of Stairs this week, and am now well into City of Blades. Wow, are these good books!


  • Tim Scheidler

    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.