Sunday Status Update: August 26, 2012

It’s that time again…and the air echoes with the doleful groans of schoolchildren…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: The streak of good reads continued this week. I finished Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine which I liked quite a bit. I also read Justin Cronin‘s The Twelve (a real page-turner), the sequel to The Passage. And finally, I absolutely loved Kate Milford‘s The Broken Lands, her sort-of-a-prequel to her excellent The Boneshaker.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: Summer is over and my kids and I are back to our regular schedules, which means more reading time, especially during my commute. This week I read a Robert A. Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children which was mildly entertaining and I revisited (this time on audio) Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Even though I know what’s going to happen, those scenes with HAL always give me chills. I think it’s time to watch the movie again, too. In print I finished The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures, an excellent story collection by Mike Resnick.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I am still reading Russell Hoban’s 1981 masterpiece Riddley Walker. This book forces me to read slowly, since it isn’t in English, at least not English as we speak it now.

“Bond fires that’s what they use to call them. Big fires they use to bern on hy groun to lite them others back to fetch us. Boats in the air o yes. That’s an example. In the 1970s and 80s, before we knew enough to worry about climate change, terrorism, various elections, genetically modified food, Greece’s recession, and who would judge American Idol, the big consuming fear was of thermonuclear war. Most of the post-apocalyptic works of that time seem trite and dated now, but not this one, largely because the primary story is really that of Riddley’s discovery of his world. This is the Indiana University Press edition which has some nice Extras including Hoban’s thoughts on the writing of the book, and some samples of earlier drafts, when the book was still in standard English. Riddley has done the Fools Circel 9wys and is close to sentering, him and Lissener and the black dog. (Spell check just autocorrected “circel” and I had a moment of insight; Hoban would have gone mad if he had tried to compose this book on a Puter!)

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: It’s been sort of a crazy week between work and my parents coming in from 2000 miles away, so my opportunities to read have been few and far between. But I’ve started Chris F. Holm’s The Wrong Goodbye, which promises to be just as good as his first book, Dead Harvest.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I was a bit busy, but when I had some spare time I read Alexandre Dumas‘s The Three Musketeers. I’d gotten about halfway through it some years back, and I came into it this time resolved to finish it. I’d forgotten how funny the book was: it’s really not so much an adventure novel as a comedy most of the time.

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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– I loved the action-comedy aspect of the Musketeers. I can’t remember the details, but there’s a sequence in the battle of La Rochelle where they run forward and take an outpost, just so they can have a private conversation.

    • Ha ha, that’s actually one of the bits I was thinking of particularly. Even with Athos’s established (and insane) love for gambling, I felt so sure he had an ace up his sleeve. But no, he genuinely just decided to be a war hero because the pub was too noisy.

  2. Michael /

    Bill – Were you lucky enough to get an advance copy of The Twelve? I thought it wasn’t due out until October.

  3. Michael,
    I did get an ARC of The Twelve but was asked to hold off on the review until nearer the publication date. I will say though that I read it in one setting, finishing somewhere around 4 in the morning or so. That should give you some idea of how good it is . . .

  4. Tim and Marion, that is one of my favorite scenes in that whole series. I can still remember browsing through the stack at the SU library and coming across what seemed half a shelf of Three Musketeer books and thinking “What’s this? There were more of these?” I took them all out and read them one after the other, then bought the same set at a used bookstore. They’re now sitting on our “prominent” bookshelf downstairs–the one reserved for the favorites of our favorites. If you haven’t read on in the series, I highly recommend it!

  5. I think I’ve only read two. Okay, here’s a challenge for our newly opened used bookstore — find me the set!

  6. Some time ago I bought an unabridged version of one of the Dumas novels — don’t remember which one — but it is one heck of a brick. One of these days I’m going to have to dive in, but I have a feeling I won’t surface for a while once I do — it sounds like great fun.

  7. Way back when I read what was clearly an unexpurgated version of The Count of Monte Cristo. I know this because it had reams of stuff in the middle about, er, his personal life which nobody else I talk to seems to have come across.
    I find it fascinating that the Bowlderising seems to go on with no announcement of the fact and nobody the wiser!

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