Sunday Status Update: December 3, 2017

This week, Batman struggles through a Thanksgiving dinner (a week late).

fantasy and science fiction book reviews Batman: Field report for November: Always a lull in November before the spate of holiday-themed crime in December. As result, was prevailed upon by various Robins and ex-Robins to attend Wonder Woman’s Apaturia, which — as I had to inform all Robins and one Batgirl — is an ancient Greek festival that she has somehow worked around to function like a businesslike Thanksgiving. Instantly regretted my decision. Superman dressed in flannel and became appallingly chipper, while Wonder Woman refused to talk business before the food was served. No one seemed to want to discuss the existential horror of the Joker’s unknowable true identity, so I was left at loose ends. As dinner was served, everyone was obligated to list one thing they were thankful for. I said I was thankful for the 482 criminal scum whose jaws I shattered this year, at least temporarily preventing further outrages against the much-oppressed people of my beset and struggling city. Cannot help but feel the applause following was somewhat lukewarm.

Bill: End of the term, so this week (like next) didn’t have much reading beyond student papers.  But I couldn’t ignore Persepolis, by James S. Corey  the newest entry in THE EXPANSE that arrived on my doorstep. As usual with these books, I picked it up and didn’t put it down until 500+ pages later. Papers Schmapers.

Jana: This week I had some minor household-plumbing emergencies that had a lot of fun interfering with my ability to get anything done. Water is great when it stays in pipes; not so great when it’s cascading down the walls and soaking into the floor. But I did make good progress in Alex Marshall‘s A Blade of Black Steel and should be able to start A War in Crimson Embers next week, which is exciting. I also read Leigh Bardugo‘s Grishaverse story collection, The Language of Thorns, and it was marvelous. I’m almost caught up on my to-be-reviewed stack (a very good feeling) and should be able to start books from my to-be-read stack soon (an even better feeling).

Marion: I finished Annalee Newitz’s debut novel Autonomous, and I hope to have a review ready soon. I liked this book. I think the questions it raises about autonomy, and ownership, are interesting, and the book has lots of travel and quite a bit of action. I loved the bots. I also read The Divine. Brad reviewed it here. This was a fascinating story and I loved that the artists and the writers included the historical photo that inspired them.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading another item in Dover Publication’s “Doomsday Classics” group of novels, having just enjoyed Fritz Leiber’s The Night of the Long Knives in that same series. The book in question is another postapocalyptic affair, Margaret St. Clair’s Sign of the Labrys, which combines science fiction with Wiccan elements, of all things. I look forward to getting into this one and getting a review out for you shortly…

Stuart: I’ve been confined to home with herniated disc pains once again for the last few weeks, so I haven’t got much audiobook progress, but have continued to read the short stories of a truly phenomenal writer, Lucius Shepard. Having read his first two collections The Jaguar Hunter and The Ends of the Earth, I’ve moved on the The Best of Lucius Shepard. It has a lot of overlapping stories with the other two collections, but ranges later to his output from the 2000s, and his themes have shifted but his style and imagery remain sublime. I’m also doing a Amazon Prime marathon with Season Two of The Man In the High Castle, which continues to stray further from the original book, hardly a surprise as it’s now a 20-hour miniseries vs a 200-page book, and was excited to find Season Two of The Expanse on Netflix UK.

Tim: This week, I finally finished Brandon Sanderson‘s Oathbringer, so I’m in the process of writing a review. That also means that I need to figure out what to read again after my long sojourn on Roshar, and I’m commencing The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

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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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