Sunday Status Update: January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: I finished Richard Morgan‘s 2nd KOVACS novel, Broken Angels, and as I’m typing this I just realized that I haven’t started the review yet (Note to self: WAKE-THE-FREAK-UP and get to work!!!). Percepliquis (I’m never gonna learn how to spell that correctly), the 6th and final book of Michael Sullivan‘s RIYRIA REVELATIONS, arrived in the mail this week. I’ve only just started, but so far it looks like Mr. Sullivan has out-done himself.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I finally finished Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson last week and have moved on to Little, Big by John Crowley. What a beautifully written book! In print I’m reading a collection of stories by my favorite author, Jack Vance. Lastly, my son and I started listening to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. We’re both enjoying it so far and hoping that Ender can save the universe.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: I’ve just started Kelley Armstrong‘s Hidden, a holiday-themed short novel in the WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series. My previous reading of the series has been a little scattershot, but hopefully this one will be fun even with the holes in my universe-knowledge. I’m also reading Shadow City by Diana Pharaoh Francis and continuing to listen to Cherie Priest‘s Hellbent on audio. And I’ve got a couple of long bus rides in my future during which to catch up on my reading!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I finally finished Haruki Murakami‘s mind-bending alternate-reality trilogy 1Q84. Right now I’m reading a fascinating nonfiction book called Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. Good science and good writing, about an intriguing topic. Just the chapter on how a dog smells things will make you interact with your world differently. After that, I can’t wait to start Umberto Eco‘s new one, Prague Cemetery, which came my way at Christmas.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: Despite having awakened at 4:00 a.m. for a flight, I managed to spend the time en route reading instead of sleeping (well, most of the time, anyway): J.M. McDermott‘s Never Knew Another. It’s got a good weird flavor to it, but doesn’t quite work, for reasons I hope to explore in a review soon. I’m also reading Weird Fiction Review #2, edited by S.T. Joshi, which contains both fiction and criticism. Finally, I’m seeing out the old year with my favorite DCVertigo character, John Constantine, reading both City of Demons and Bloody Carnations. Weird fiction for a weird end to a weird year.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: The holidays have been a busy time for me, but I managed to (at long last) wrap up my set of Anne Rice‘s first three VAMPIRE CHRONICLES with Queen of the Damned. While the first two were nice surprises, Queen of the Damned was a bit of a disappointment to me. Rice’s prose remained excellent but her heavyhanded philosophizing got rather boring after a while and the multiple narrative structure did not serve her style well. I think I’ll stay away from vampire fiction for a bit. With that resolution, I ended 2011 by revisiting Turn Coat, a novel of Jim Butcher‘s DRESDEN FILES.

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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. Well, Greg, you did it again: added new books to my wish list. In fact, they didn’t even get so far as my wish list, but went straight into the first-of-the-year shopping cart, the one in which I purchase an armful of books I didn’t get for Christmas. Why do people bother to buy me clothes as gifts?! It’s books all the way!

  2. I keep missing the deadline! I’ve been reading an excellent SF debut: Faith by John Love. And I’m about to start Rise of Empire, the second omnibus of the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan.

  3. The post I attempted while holding the netbook on my lap as Spouse drove us southbound on I-80 apparently never took. Greg, I eagerly await your review of Broken Angels. Ithought my next book would be Prague Cemetery but I got two late Christmas presents — The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Reamde \. Decisions, decisions…

  4. Franziska /

    Marion, Eco is one of my favorite people in the whole world (or he would be, if I’d know him personally :D). The Prague Cemetery is excellent, as everything he puts to paper. But… I just finished Hundred Thousand Kingdoms myself and couldn’t wait for today and until the bookstores opened, so I had to purchase the second book in the trilogy as ebook :D So, I can understand your dilemma. However, the two are worlds apart as far as and quality go imo. Jemisin is a quick, ejoyable read with some lovable characters, while Eco is mindblowing in every way. You kind of have to sit down and take your time with him. Reamde still sits on my shelf, waiting for February when I’m on school break.

  5. Terry – For real? That makes my day to know my reviews have some influence. Thanks :) I’m anxious to see your thoughts on the graphic novels. (If I can ever bag a Kindle Fire, I hope to get back into reading graphic novels. DC has a pretty good selection for Kindle Fire.)

    Marion- Thank you for the encouragement. From your reviews, I think our reading tastes vary a lot of times. But I always enjoy reading other reviews of books I’ve read. It’s very enlightening to see an opinion from another perspective, even more so from a great reviewer like yourself. :) (Plus you’re well-balanced person. I’m told it does me good to see things from a more sane point of view. -I’m a very, very, maladjusted individual.:) )

  6. Greg: We know that about you (the maladjusted thing) — it’s just one of the thing we like about you! 8-) Franziska; Hundred Thousand Kingdoms won out only because I had left Prague Cemetery at home when I got it, and I was out of town. I’m only about two chapters in, but wow! She can jump-start a story.

  7. That’s so sweet, Terry, cause crazy people need love too. :)

  8. Sarah /

    I’m halfway through Theft of Swords. This is one of those authors who has been on my ‘sounds good, should try it sometime’ list. I don’t know why I left him there so long. I love the main characters, and will be pushing everyone in the family to read the series as soon as I’m done with them.

  9. Any book that Greg loves goes on my list. He has great taste in adventure fantasy. For example I just got AMONG THIEVES on audio after our Best of the Year post.

  10. “Among Thieves” is also in my first Amazon purchase of the year. My husband is going to look at me cross-eyed when that package arrives, I fear. But here’s how I look at it: it cost me about one hour of legal work. I can spend an hour each month working solely to buy new books, right?

  11. SWEET!! I can’t wait to see what both of you think. :)

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