Sunday Status Updates: August 7, 2016

This week, Peter Pan continues his journey through the modern era.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Peter: Stopped into someplace called the Disney store this week. I don’t know why, but it turns out Tinker Bell is more popular than me. She’s got about a gazillion movies, and she’s on all these shirts and things. I don’t understand it, but I’ll bet this is Tink’s doing somehow. If she wasn’t dead, I’d get her back for this. So anyway, I asked one of the people working there, and he said it was because I was a “Disney prince” and “literally no one cares about the Disney princes.” He said I was lucky I even got named onscreen, because half of them never were. So I chopped the head off the weird demon mouse statue, and crowed, and flew off. Doing things like that used to make me feel better, didn’t they?

Brad: This week I finished, and loved, The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher. I’ll be reading all the books in that series! I read the second book, a novella, in the ELANTRIS series by Brandon Sanderson: The Emperor’s Soul. It was excellent, and it would be a good introduction to Brandon Sanderson. You don’t need to have read Elantris to enjoy it. In fact, I read Elantris a long time ago and didn’t remember it well enough for it to help me anyway; however, reading this novella has convinced me to go back and reread Elantris. A few days ago, I started Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, the first book in the STORMLIGHT ARCHIVES. It hasn’t hooked me as fast as all the other Sanderson novels I’ve read, so I’m glad I’m already a big enough fan of Sanderson to keep reading it. I know I’ll love it in the end. Finally, I’m listening to the second book in the GENTLEMEN BASTARDS series. The narrator for those books is fantastic.

Jana: This week I made progress with Indomitable, the second novel in W.C. BauersCHRONICLES OF PROMISE PAEN, which, if you’re a fan of the MILSF genre, will be right up your street. I also re-read Kate Elliott‘s Court of Fives and read its sequel, Poisoned Blade. (Enthusiastic review to come shortly.) In the upcoming week I’m gong to treat myself to a re-read of N.K. Jemisin‘s The Fifth Season in preparation for reading its much-anticipated sequel, The Obelisk Gate. Beyond that, my reading plans are a bit up in the air, though I have a few ideas in mind for other books that I might start if the mood strikes and time permits.

Kat: My summer has been extraordinarily busy and I’m now 12 books behind in my annual reading goal. I’m hoping to catch up, though. Lately I’ve read Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu, and Imprudence by Gail Carriger. (The Winters book was definitely the best of these.) Reviews for all of these are coming soon. I’ve also been reading some of the SPFBO books, a few short stories, and a collection of stories from my friend, retired FanLit reviewer Robert Rhodes.

Sandy: Moi? For the last few weeks, I have been sidelined from reading due to a trip to Europe that I took. I and some friends and family went on a Danube River cruise and visited Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg and many other quaint locales. My mind just wasn’t on sitting down and reading while I was away, and during the long plane rides, I was reading magazines and binge watching Big Bang Theory on the Air Paris and KLM entertainment systems. But I have been back now for a week and have gotten back to business. This week, I have been reading a 1964 novel by Brian Aldiss entitled The Dark Light Years and have been enjoying it a lot. I hope to be able to get a review out for this one shortly. Stay tuned…

Stuart: Sadly it’s been quite a slog listening the Vernor Vinge‘s 2000 Hugo Winner A Deepness in the Sky. Despite the interesting concept of arachnid aliens with human-sounding names and civilization, the story is just so bloated with unnecessary details, characters, and sub-plots that it got tedious. So I took a brief and magical trip into the terrors of childhood thanks to Neil Gaiman’s short novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Excellent stuff, and no superfluous material – all books should be so concise. In comics, I finished Sandman: Endless Nights, and am now reading Sandman: Overture, whose artwork is simply gorgeous. When that’s done, I have promised Tadiana that I will read some of the award-winning short stories and novellas on our Priority List to help her out and please our overlord Kat. There, now I can’t go back on it having committed myself in print.

Tadiana: I just finished reading Burning Bright by Melissa McShane, a fantasy set in the Regency era, but more focused on naval life than ballrooms (which is a nice change of pace), and Thornyhold by Mary Stewart, which has some interesting magical realism/hedgewitch aspects to it. I’ll try to review both in the next week. I also read Magic Binds, the 9th book in the KATE DANIELS series by Ilona Andrews, which will be published in September, as well as the second book in the Andrews’ INNKEEPER CHRONICLES series, Sweep in Peace. I’m still chugging along (very) slowly but (semi) steadily with my read of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow,as well as Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley, the recently-published second book in the CHECQUY FILES fantasy series.

Terry: I’m tempted to say that I need to get more disciplined about my reading, but I read fiction because it makes me happy, and disciplining one’s happiness seems contradictory, doesn’t it? The reason I’m tempted is that, once again, I’m still reading pretty much all the same things I was reading last week, though I’ve been concentrating on Genevieve Cogman‘s The Invisible Library, which is great fun. I finished Adam-Troy Castro’s Gustav Gloom and the Nightmare Vault and bought Gustav Gloom and the Four Terrors, but haven’t started it yet. And I continue to read an unhealthy amount about the upcoming presidential election in the United States.

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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. Yea! A new McShane!

  2. “Overlord.” I definitely like that. I’m gonna put that on my business cards.

  3. Kat, I’m eager to read what you think of the Winters novel.

    I didn’t send in my update because I’ve been reading workshop manuscripts for the workshop I’m in at the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. This was the conference’s 28th year, and they had a full attendance (100 members) for the first time since 2007. (Hmm, I wonder what happened in 2008?) Not much genre fare, but some great writing and a truly spectacular workshop leader, Lori Ostlund. Beautiful weather, glorious dahlias in full bloom at the botanical garden, and plenty of chatty ravens!

    • Your wish is my command, Marion. A review will go up today.
      I LOVE dahlias!!! They were abundant in Bloomington, IN, where I went to grad school, but unfortunately not in Florida where I live now.

  4. Jana, I’m also really excited for N.K. Jemisin’s Obelisk Gate, though I don’t think I have time for a re-read of The Fifth Season. Then again, I listened to that book twice back to back since I loved it so much (and the first listen was on a long flight and didn’t do it justice).

    • It’s probably fair to guess that you, I, Marion, and Kevin are all really excited for The Obelisk Gate, since we all loved The Fifth Season!

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